DECATUR - Blair Springfield spent Tuesday morning securing his future and giving a little bit back to kids who are where he was in the not too distant past.

Springfield, drafted by the Cubs in the seventh round, officially became a part of the organization when he signed his contract on Tuesday.

The initial deal is worth $80,000, and it essentially replaces the scholarship to Illinois State that Springfield passed on to sign with the Cubs. It can be used for a college education should something like an injury cut short his baseball career. Springfield also said he's still negotiating his signing bonus.

His next destination is Arizona, where he will play for the Mesa Cubs in rookie ball. He'll leave no later than this weekend, after the team finalizes his travel plans.

Springfield spoke to a handful of kids at Mueller Park, then fielded some grounders and took a few cuts as well.

It wasn't so long ago that Springfield was a kid playing for fun. Now, he's a professional.

"It was about six or seven papers I had to sign, but every time I signed, I got a little bit of goose bumps. Just looking at the paper, you're saying you're about to play for the Cubs," said Springfield, who was committed to play for Illinois State until the Cubs drafted him.

"A lot of kids, they hope to play for a college, and I get the opportunity to go pro. Right before I go to sleep I think about it, and I sleep a little bit better every night."

All-in-all, agreeing to the contract was a fairly painless process. That had everything to do with the amount of time he spent on the Cubs' radar before the draft.

"Any other team, I would've negotiated a lot more, but with the Cubs, everybody in their head office loved me," Springfield said. "During the draft, I didn't want anybody else to draft me because the Cubs' head people loved me so much."

Springfield has played all over the field in his experiences thus far. He played seven of the nine positions at MacArthur High School, failing to see time only at catcher and first base.

"I was trying to get coach (Eldon Bryan) to play me at first every game, just to get a laugh out of him," Springfield said with a grin.

He played in the outfield during his two stints with the Georgia Roadrunners. In Mesa, he plans on getting plenty of time at both second and third base. And he'll be doing it with a bit of a new look.

"Maybe I do the (Mark) DeRosa thing and learn all the positions. Second base is fine. A lot of guys don't have power there, so that'd be a plus, and third base is fine, too," Springfield said. "I have to shave off all my beard. I'll keep my moustache and wear my pants up now.

"I guess everybody has to look the same. That will take some getting used to, but it won't stop my bat from swinging."

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