The Astros have reached an agreement to sign the No. 1 overall pick in this week's draft, owner Jim Crane said on Wednesday. The deal that will make 17-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa an Astro will be completed Thursday provided that Correa passes a physical that he will undergo in Houston.
Crane did not give a dollar value for the deal, but he strongly suggested that it will be below the $7.2 million slot value of the pick. Going low on the No. 1 pick will help the Astros sign some of the high school players who might require going over slot to keep them from going to college.
"We've approved the amount and we hope that he'll sign this agreement and pass the physical," Crane said. "We did it in a such a way that allowed us to pick up some other players that we really wanted and be able to stretch a little bit here or there."
General manager Jeff Luhnow said that there was no deal in place before the draft, which would be against baseball's rules. However, conversations with players' advisers to try to get a feel for signability often find teams and players discovering common ground.
"We did have some discussions with our first pick and his group prior to the selection," Luhnow said. "That's normal, standard practice. It was not an agreement. It was a discussion of general neighborhoods and areas. The purpose of those discussions is just to get a sense of whether or not a deal can be done."
The Astros have a total of $11.2 million to spend on their first 11 draft picks, and they are anticipating signing all of them. Savings on Correa's deal would most likely go toward supplemental first-round pick Lance McCullers Jr., a pitcher committed to Florida, and potentially USC-bound third baseman Rio Ruiz, whom they picked in Round 4.