St. Louis Cardinals sign second-round pick Joshua Baez

The St. Louis Cardinals are making quick progress signing their draft class, with second rounder Joshua Baez the latest to sign. There are more to come.

When the St. Louis Cardinals signed their first round pick, right-handed pitcher Michael McGreevy, to an under-slot deal; it left them with room to go over-slot on the rest of their draft class. There were rumblings early Monday morning that they were getting close to signing another top draft pick and by Monday night, it became reality.

The Cardinals have signed their second round pick, outfielder Joshua Baez out of Brookline, Mass., to a $2.25 million bonus, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, which comes to almost $1 million over the original slot value of $1,338,500.

Before the Cardinals selected Baez, they understood that he had a strong commitment to Vanderbilt and it would take a lucrative offer to lure him away. So when they were able to save a couple million on McGreevy, it left them with more than enough room to sign Baez — and also their third rounder, Austin Love, who is close to signing, according to major-league sources.

Baez was at Busch Stadium on Monday to sign his contract and take batting practice. He is headed to Jupiter, Fla. on Tuesday to join the Cardinals’ complex team at the Roger Dean Stadium facility. He sees himself as a center fielder and the Cardinals are hopeful that he can be a part of their long-term outlook along with Nolan Gorman and Jordan Walker.

Before he left for Jupiter, Baez made it clear that he has aspirations that are out of this world.

“I just want to be better than Mike Trout,” Baez said, via Zachary Silver of MLB.com, “and want to be the face of the game one day.”

The Cardinals will hope he can be half the player that Trout is, considering that he’s a generational talent, but hearing how confident and motivated Baez is has to make the entire organization feel better about making him the 53rd pick and dolling out over $800,000 more to sign him.