NEW YORK - The Cubs' $1.05-million agreement with second-round draft pick Duane Underwood could make the signing of No. 6 overall pick Albert Almora imminent as soon as Underwood passes Monday's physical.
The deadline for signing draft picks is Friday.
Strict limits this year on bonus spending for the top 10 rounds and for each team overall leave the Cubs just over $3.5 million of their allotted budget, based on bonus tracking done by Baseball America.
In addition, the Cubs can spend roughly $400,000 more without losing future draft picks (but paying a high-percentage tax on the over-limit total).
That gives the Cubs just over $3.9 million to spend on Almora, the prep outfielder from South Florida, who is the only unsigned player among the Cubs' top 20 picks.
Almora, whose slot was assigned a $3.25 million recommendation by MLP, has the leverage of a full ride scholarship to the University of Miami.
Despite the suggestion from Almora during a media conference call on draft day that he might take the scholarship, the Cubs have remained optimistic they'll sign their top pick.
Almora's advisor, Scott Boras, declined comment on the subject because of strict NCAA rules regarding advisors/agents and amateur status.
Underwood, the 67th overall pick in the draft, is a right-hander with mid-90s velocity from Marietta, Ga.