Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Cubs sign 'fast mover' Carraway among 3 picks

@MLBastian
June 25, 2020

CHICAGO -- The Cubs are focusing on their Major League depth as teams prepare for preseason camp, but there will be an interesting opportunity for prospects this season. With extra spots allotted for a taxi squad, clubs might include some top prospects in the name of development.

CHICAGO -- The Cubs are focusing on their Major League depth as teams prepare for preseason camp, but there will be an interesting opportunity for prospects this season. With extra spots allotted for a taxi squad, clubs might include some top prospects in the name of development.

One name under consideration for Chicago is left-hander Burl Carraway, who was one of three 2020 Draft picks (along with lefty Luke Little and righty Koen Moreno) to officially sign with the Cubs on Thursday. The 21-year-old Carraway was widely considered the top relief arm in the Draft and has been projected as a candidate to be the first '20 pick to reach the Majors.

Cubs' 2020 season FAQ

"He could end up being a fast mover," Cubs vice president of scouting Dan Kantrovitz said after selecting Carraway in the second round. "And that's something that you don't really want to say about somebody unless they are actually going to be one."

The 2020 season (scheduled to start July 23 or 24) will begin with 30-man rosters, which will be reduced to 28 after two weeks and then to 26 one month into the campaign. Clubs will be allowed to have a total pool of 60 players. That will give teams a chance to not only field necessary depth, but also have a handful of spots for prospects.

For the Cubs, No. 1 prospect (per MLB Pipeline) Nico Hoerner is already part of the MLB team, and both catcher Miguel Amaya (No. 4) and righty Adbert Alzolay (No. 6) are on the 40-man roster. If there are open slots, lefty Brailyn Marquez (No. 2) and outfielder Brennen Davis (No. 3) might be in the pool to further their development under unique circumstances.

The Cubs plan on having the same conversation with regard to Carraway, who averaged 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings in his time at Dallas Baptist. The lefty boasted one of the elite fastballs in the 2020 Draft class and a power curveball. In eight games this year prior to the spring season being halted, Carraway had 17 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. He struck out 72 in 41 2/3 innings last season.

"He's got an upper-90s, explosive fastball that's comparable to some of the better big league fastballs today," Kantrovitz said, "and he's got two different types of breakers that are true knee-bucklers. We feel like he's an impact arm."

The Cubs will hold their Major League preseason camp at Wrigley Field and are still working out the details of a second site for extra players. One location under strong consideration is the home of the South Bend Cubs (Class A), where the team has state-of-the-art facilities.

Carraway signed for $1,050,000, which was under the slot value ($1,436,900) for the No. 51 pick. The 6-foot-8 Little (fourth rounder), a lefty reliever with another powerful fastball, signed for slot value ($492,700) at pick No. 117. Moreno, who was an East Carolina University commit, signed for $900,000, which was over slot for pick No. 147 ($367,900).

Their signings follow the deal the Cubs struck with first-round shortstop Ed Howard, who was given slot value ($3,745,500) for being selected 16th overall. That brings Chicago's total spent up to $6,188,200 out of its $6,721,600 pool.

The lone unsigned draftee is Michigan outfielder Jordan Nwogu, who was picked at No. 88 overall (third round), which comes with a slot of $678,600. The Cubs have $533,400 left in their pool, and would face a 75 percent tax on an overage in the 0-5 percent range.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.