Many of us heard the quotes from Almora yesterday, but here it is in case you missed it,
"My main priority now is college," Almora said. "I just graduated high school and I have a full scholarship to the University of Miami, and that's all I'm looking forward to right now. "
"But we'll have to see what happens when it's time (to talk contract). I'm ready to play for the majors leagues... In my mind right now, I trust my opinions and I know what I can do on the field. That's not the priority right now. The priority right now is we have to let the process play out and let the cards fall where they have to fall."
"I can't control that. That's something that Chicago (management) has to talk to (within) their organization and come to an agreement (with Boras)."
Relax. It's just posturing. Why do I know this? Because it's a waste of time for Almora to play college ball. For one thing, he's already a very polished player who would learn little from facing most college pitchers. There's not much he could do to improve his stock. Scouts know who he is as far as his tools and mental makeup. They have a pretty good idea as to what his ceiling is. How would college ball change that? He certainly doesn't need to gain experience, having played for USA baseball a record 6 times.
What Almora can't afford to do is throw away his youth and development facing competition that won't make him any better in 3 years. When he graduates college, he'll still be a top 10 pick, but by then he'll have less leverage to negotiate and he'll have lost 3 years worth of pro experience.
Think about what that's worth.
Almora is advanced and could well reach Class A Peoria as soon as this season and high Class A Daytona next year. At that point, he could be 2 years away from the majors instead of two years away from another draft. Even the best college players start at the high Class A level after getting drafted, which would mean Almora would be two to three years behind schedule.
And if he and "advisor" Scott Boras are looking for money, the majors is where the real money is at. The sooner he hits the majors, the sooner he hits arbitration. The sooner he hits arbitration, the sooner he hits free agency (or at least gets signed to an early long term deal like some young MLB stars). The extra dollars the Cubs can scrape up by reallocating pool money is peanuts compared to what Almora will get if he starts his pro career earlier. In fact, even if Almora goes to college and does become the #1 pick, even the extra few million he'll get on draft day is peanuts compared to the financial advantage of getting a 3 year head start in his professional career.
Scott Boras is too smart an agent to think he can get more money by letting Almora attend college. This is simply about using leverage while he still has it and getting as much of that bonus pool money as he can right now. Nothing more.