By Josh Boyd
March 3, 2003
Bobby Brownlie officially turned pro on January 2, when the righthander hired Scott Boras as his agent.
Nearly two months later, Brownlie finally has a team to go with his pro status. The 22-year-old signed with the Cubs, who selected him with the 21st overall pick last June, for a $2.5 million bonus on Sunday. He was expected to join the team in spring training camp today.
Brownlie entered the 2002 season as the No. 1 college prospect in the country after going 16-4, 2.46 in his first two seasons at Rutgers. But he had biceps tendinitis last spring, contributing to a disappointing 6-6, 3.50 campaign with just 66 strikeouts in 80 innings.
Negotiations heated up when Brownlie showed he was fully recovered from tendonitis and bursitis in his right arm at a work out for Cubs scouting director John Stockstill and general manager Jim Hendry near Scott Boras’ offices in Irvine, Calif., on January 20.
Brownlie and Boras reportedly were seeking closer to the $4 million major league deal the Indians gave Stanford righthander Jeremy Guthrie, picked one spot behind Brownlie, while the Cubs original offer was reportedly $2 million.
Brownlie is expected to start his pro career in Class A Daytona, but the Cubs don’t plan on rushing him.
“We’re not in any situation, nor does he expect to be rushed,” Hendry told the Chicago Tribune. “We want him to come back and have a full season and put the issues behind him that slowed him down last year, get his feet on the ground.”