It appears that the Cincinnati Reds and Alex Blandino, the 29th overall pick in the 2014 draft, have come to an agreement on a contract.
While the Reds have yet to officially confirm the signing, Mayo's colleague at MLB.com, Jim Callis, has also said it to be true, and when Callis says something, I follow like a sheep.
That Blandino and the Reds settled on the slot amount of $1,788,000 is a bit surprising, as most analysts had the Stanford University infielder projected to be drafted anywhere between 30th and 80th overall. Considering the Reds have already signed USC pitcher Wyatt Strahan (94th overall) at slot value and Oklahoma HS slugger Gavin LaValley (125th overall) to a contract $113,100 over slot, the presumption was that Cincinnati would try to sign one of their first three overall picks to a deal slightly below slot value in order to compensate for the spending elsewhere.
That obviously won't come courtesy of Blandino.
Cincinnati has yet to come to terms with their first pick in the draft, RHP Nick Howard of the University of Virginia (19th overall), due to the fact that he's still playing in the College World Series, but there's a chance that they'll target signing him for slightly below slot due to his original draft projections and current status as a reliever. The Reds' 2nd round pick, Taylor Sparks (58th overall), is also still unsigned, though the UC-Irvine product will likely put pen to paper on a deal shortly since his team was bounced from the CWS just last night.
Don't be jaded into thinking Blandino's game plays anything like his name, though, since he moves, hits, and fields much better than a prehistoric reptile. Here's a link to our very own Cy Schourek's initial reaction to the drafting of Blandino from way back on draft night, and if he's to be believed (and he's a very smart guy who you should totally believe), the Reds just signed a future Jed Lowrie. Coming from me, who you probably shouldn't believe, I'd expect him to follow a similar path to last year's 1st round pick, Phillip Ervin, and you'll see him as the starting SS in Billings for a month before finishing the 2014 season with the Dayton Dragons should everything go all fine and dandy and such.
That'd be swell.
Congrats to Alex, and here's to hoping he grows in the Reds' organization the way so many other recent 1st round picks in the system have.
For a full listing of who has signed for every team (and for what), here's a link to a handy list courtesy of wunderkind Chris Cotillo. Thanks, Chris!