ST. LOUIS • The Cardinals continue to work toward finalizing deals with several of their top draft picks, with prep third baseman Bryce Denton being the latest lured into professional baseball.
Denton, who turns 18 in August, has an agreement in place with the Cardinals that will be completed when the young infielder passes a physical.
Denton, from Tennessee, was selected 66th overall by the Cardinals, and he had a commitment to Vanderbilt. The Commodores won the 2014 College World Series and just lost in the finals to Virginia this past week in the 2015 College World Series.
The Cardinals expected to go over slot to sign Denton and woo him away from the college commitment.
That means the team is unlikely to sign 10th-round pick Kep Brown. The Cardinals will likely go over their bonus pool and pay a financial penalty, but also signing Brown would put the team in danger of losing a pick for next year. It would be difficult to fit Denton's bonus and the bonus Brown could command in the remaining bonus limit.
Brown, from South Carolina, has a commitment to Miami.
He has an Achilles' injury that led to a drop in the draft, and he could reclaim a spot in the high rounds by going to college and improving upon the power that made him one of the best prep sluggers available in the draft.
The Cardinals intend to have most of their early picks signed or close to it by the start of next week. That includes third-round pick Harrison Bader, who just recently completed the College World Series with Florida. Once the top picks are in the fold the team will try to sign some of the players taken in rounds 11 through 18 who will command above-slot bonuses.