Quantrill signs with SD, hopes to debut in '17

Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2015, No. 8 overall pick ready to go

Quantrill signs with SD, hopes to debut in '17

SAN DIEGO -- Hours after signing his first professional contract, right-hander Cal Quantrill was on the bullpen mound at Petco Park, showcasing the impressive four-pitch mix that led the Padres to select him at No. 8 overall in last week's Draft.

Quantrill hopes it isn't long before he returns.

"San Diego's nice; I like this place," Quantrill quipped in a news conference shortly after his signing was announced. "I've got to get back here really soon."

The 21-year-old right-hander out of Stanford University put pen to paper Monday afternoon, hours before the Padres' 13-4 loss to the Marlins. A source tells MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo that Quantrill signed for $3,963,045, which is $332,145 over the slot value for the No. 8 selection.

Quantrill works out at Petco

The son of former big league reliever Paul Quantrill, Cal hasn't pitched in a game since March 2015, when he underwent Tommy John surgery. He's fully recovered from the surgery, however, and threw multiple bullpen sessions for Padres scouts before being drafted. Quantrill will now head to Arizona, where he'll pitch in extended Spring Training.

As a freshman, Quantrill posted a 2.65 ERA through 18 appearances (17 starts), earning Pac-12 freshman of the year honors and a spot on the All-Pac-12 first team. He started his sophomore campaign 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA before sustaining the elbow injury.

"Signing a contract, making it official and being a professional baseball player is something I've dreamed about doing now for 15 years since I walked out there with my dad," Quantrill said. "Now it's real."

It's been quite the busy week for Quantrill, who completed his final exams Tuesday, was drafted Thursday, walked at graduation Sunday and drove to San Diego overnight to sign his contract Monday.

Quantrill on the Draft

"I'm not interested in celebrating," Quantrill said of leaving Stanford so quickly. "I'm interested in getting started."

Quantrill says he's set a goal of cracking the big leagues during the 2017 season.

Of course, the Padres are going to monitor Quantrill closely. He'll be on a strict innings limit this summer, where he'll likely pitch in rookie ball.

But they were obviously confident enough in Quantrill's health to use their first selection on him.

"Our medical team, Dr. [Heinz] Hoenecke and his group, they were able to look at the MRIs, look at the doctor notes, look at the rehab notes that were very detailed," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "We've had the ability to ask a lot of questions about background, makeup, competitiveness and ability to follow a program.

Padres draft RHP Quantrill No. 8

"We got a chance to meet Cal throughout the spring. I think when we added all those things together, we felt like it was a good risk for us."

Paul Quantrill pitched for San Diego in 2005, when Cal was 10. Cal says he doesn't remember much about his brief time in San Diego, though he remembered how much he enjoyed watching Khalil Greene play shortstop.

In that regard, being in the Padres' clubhouse was nothing new to Cal. But Monday's visit took on a different meaning.

"I've followed my dad around now for 20 years to big league clubhouses," Quantrill said. "It's one thing to walk in as the son of a big leaguer. It's another to walk in to feel like you might have finally earned a chance to walk onto the field. I'm still not a big leaguer, but today was a really, really awesome experience."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.