St. Louis Cardinals Sign First-Rounder Dylan Carlson


The Cardinals have already taken the first step in getting members of their 2016 draft class on the field.

The St. Louis Cardinals took three players in the first round of last week’s MLB Draft, so the powers-that-be in charge of negotiating those players’ contracts have a busy next few weeks in front of them. Some of their work is already done, though, as MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis reported on Tuesday night that the organization has signed outfielder/first baseman Dylan Carlson, the 33rd overall pick, to a minor-league contract.

Most experts were surprised by the Cardinals’ selection of Carlson at 33–he wasn’t even ranked among MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 draft prospects–and it was expected that he would be signed for below slot. That proved to be true, as he signed for a $1,350,000 bonus, more than half a million less than the pick’s expected value of $1,909,500.

The Cardinals’ first pick, Delvin Perez, was already at a disadvantage in negotiation due to the fact that he’s the product of a Puerto Rican baseball academy and has no college commitment to use as leverage. It didn’t help matters after the 17-year-old tested positive for PEDs prior to the draft, so the Cardinals will now likely manage to sign both Perez and Carlson for below slot. That will give the Cardinals some leverage with Mississippi State righthander Dakota Hudson, their selection at pick 34, who will likely need to be signed for above slot after falling further than anticipated last week.

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Considering his youth, Carlson probably figures to spend the summer in the Gulf Coast League, otherwise known as the least-advanced level of rookie ball. If he’s wildly impressive, Carlson would have a slim chance to begin next season with Low-A Peoria, the Cardinals’ lowest level full-season club, but more likely, he’ll begin next season in extended spring training, then play with a short-season club–either State College or Johnson City–in 2017. While that might seem like an extremely slow move up the minor-league ladder to some, that’s the way that the Cardinals have handled most of their highly-regarded high school draftees, including Nick Plummer, Bryce Denton, and Oscar Mercado, in recent years.

Next: Breaking Down the Cardinals' Second Day Draft Selections

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Derrick Goold wrote on Tuesday night that Perez, will arrive in St. Louis this week with hopes of hashing out a deal within the next few days, so the Cards could soon have two-thirds of their first round haul locked up.