No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa signed with the Astros for a bonus of $4.8 million, Baseball America has learned. The assigned value of that selection was $7.2 million, which gives Houston plenty of leeway to sign potentially expensive later selections such as Lance McCullers Jr. (supplemental first round), Rio Ruiz (third), Brett Phillips (sixth) and Hunter Virant (11th).
Though Baseball America rated Correa as the second-best talent in the draft, there was a good chance he would have fallen to the Cubs at No. 6 (with a pick value of $3.25 million) or the Padres at No. 7 ($3 million) had the Astros not chosen him first overall.
Bonuses are expected to decline this year with new rules taking draft choices away from teams that exceed their assigned budgets by 5 percent of more. Correa's bonus is the lowest for a No. 1 overall pick since Luke Hochevar got $3.5 million from the Royals in 2005, though Hochevar received another $1.75 million in guarantees as part of a big league contract. The last top overall selection to get less money than Correa was Matt Bush, who signed with the Padres for $3.15 million in 2004.
Correa's bonus is more than three times the previous record for a Puerto Rican draftee. The Blue Jays paid Dickie Joe Thon $1.5 million as a fifth-rounder in 2010.