HOUSTON, TX: General manager Jeff Luhnow (R) of the Houston Astros along with Bobby Heck, Astros Assistant G.M./Director of Scouting, introduces Carlos Correa, the first-overall selection in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft during a press conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Carlos Correa Officially Signs With Astros

With the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft, the Houston Astros surprised everyone by taking Carlos Correa over Mark Appel. Correa and the Astros have agreed to a contract.

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Carlos Correa, Astros Agree To Contract

The Houston Astros selected shortstop Carlos Correa first overall on Monday in the 2012 MLB draft. They officially agreed to a contract on Thursday. I don't know if this is the smoothest contract negotiations have ever gone for a high pick, but if there have been smoother cases, they weren't smoother by much.

Rumor has it that Correa signed for $4.8 million, which would follow earlier speculation. If true, that means the Astros have an extra $2.4 million to spend on the rest of their top picks, because the slot value for the first pick this year was $7.2 million. The Astros took Correa knowing he would sign for less than slot, which allowed the Astros to take the talented but potentially expensive Lance McCullers later on. New draft rules, and all that.

With Correa under contract, he'll report somewhere shortly. When amateur players get drafted, a lot of them say they can't wait to begin their professional careers. Carlos Correa's professional career has begun.

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Carlos Correa Reaches Agreement With Astros

When the Houston Astros selected shortstop Carlos Correa first overall in the draft on Monday instead of pitcher Mark Appel, it came as a surprise. But no one ever thought the Astros would have trouble signing Correa to a contract. Sure enough, the talk was that Correa and the Astros would have a deal by the end of the week, and now we're just about officially there:

Rumor has it an actual contract will be signed Thursday. The slot for the first overall pick carries a $7.2 million value, but Correa's supposedly going to sign for something in the neighborhood of $5 million, leaving the Astros more money to spend on their other top picks.

Sometimes, teams draft players who're difficult to sign. Sometimes, teams and players or player representatives get bitter with one another. Things between Correa and the Astros couldn't be going more smoothly, as the Astros surely knew would be the case ahead of time.

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Carlos Correa Working Out Contract With Astros

All the speculation leading up to Monday's first round of the 2012 MLB draft had the Houston Astros picking pitcher Mark Appel first overall. And the Astros might've intended to go with Appel all along, too, but in that event something must have changed, because the Astros selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa instead.

And Tuesday, a day after Correa was picked, we get word that he and the Astros are already nearing a contract agreement. Jon Heyman:

Shortstop Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in Monday's draft, is already progressing toward a deal with the Astros, sources tell CBSSports.com.

Furthermore, those sources suggest the deal is expected to be for close to $5 million.

Under the new rules, the pick with which the Astros selected Correa has a slot value of $7.2 million. If Correa does indeed sign for well below that, then the Astros can put some of that money towards Lance McCullers, their second selection. And the rest of their draft class, too. But specifically McCullers. That would be a big talent score for an organization that doesn't have enough of it.

Assuming Correa signs shortly, it shouldn't be long after that that he begins his professional career at some very low level.

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2012 MLB Draft: Astros Select Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, Puerto Rico: A 6-4, 190-pound shortstop, Correa has the most advanced bat of any high-school player in the draft, despite being just 17 years old. He should hit for power and average, and has a chance to stick at shortstop, at least in the short run. Even if he eventually moves to third base, his hitting will stand out. He also possesses a cannon throwing arm and excellent makeup. He is a University of Miami recruit. This is an unexpected choice, with the Astros widely expected to draft Stanford right-hander Mark Appel.

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