This, is awesome, and God love Theo for making moves in and outside the box.
Those that remember, we spent heavy in 2013 on International signings picking up 16-17 year old kids to develop. Eloy Jiminez and Gleyber Torres the two big main ones.
Well, because they overspent, there weren't allowed to sign anyone last year. But now they are back to being able to sign in 2015, and with the CBA coming up, the thinking is the Cubs will overspend again, because they won't need to worry or care about the punishment of not signig for a year, once the new CBA talks begin. So, a look at who they might be adding to their already deep core of young prospects.
The Cubs and Rangers went over their pools to a lesser degree, back when some teams hadn’t considered that as a strategy and before the Yankees made headlines by taking that strategy to it’s logical extreme last year. Both teams are coming off the one-year ban (the penalty was lighter two years ago) on signings over $250,000, and both are expected to spend heavily.
Cubs: The Cubs have been tied to the most players during this process and are believed to have agreements with a number of players that should easily send them over their bonus pool. Sources have indicated that these are the deals the Cubs have in place:
1. Aramis Ademan, SS, Dominican, $2 million Video: He’s only 5’10/150, but is a slick fielder with very quick hands and should be able to stick at shortstop, with advanced feel for contact and an active, Ichiro-like cut from the left side.
2. Christopher Martinez, 3B, Dominican, $1.5 million Video: He has solid average raw power and arm strength along with above average bat speed and some looseness at the plate. He also has the hands to play in the infield, though his feet are a little slow at this point.
3. Yonathan Perlaza, SS, Venezuelan, $1.2 million Video: Stout 5’8/175 infielder has a chance to stick at shortstop and is an average runner with below average power, but has a smooth cut that produces among the most hard contact in games in this class.
4. Miguel Amaya, C, Panama, $1.2 million: 6’0/160 lefty hitter has an smooth swing, hits it to all fields with some pop and has the tools to be at least an average catcher.
5. Anderson Amarista, RHP, Venezuela, $1 million Video: 6’0/178 righty sat 85-87 mph when I saw him in February, but has projection and a clean arm, normally sits a few ticks higher, has hit 91 mph and already flashes a solid average curveball
6. Yunior Perez, RHP, Dominican: $650,000: 6’3/175 righty is loose, has a clean arm, projection and sat 90-93 mph when I saw him for a few innings in February. That said, the curveball is below average and I haven’t seen him throw a changeup at all, so he’s still in the early stages.
7. Luis Diaz, SS, Dominican: $350,000: 5’9/155 infielder is a plus runner with a chance to stick at shortstop and below average power, but good feel to hit from the right side.
As I mentioned yesterday, these numbers may be a bit different than the final bonuses and things can still happen, like deals falling apart late for various reasons. I heard about Martinez and Amarista pretty recently and heard the other five players over a month ago. These numbers add up to $7.9 million and the Cubs pool is a little over $3.2 million, meaning they can make trades to boost their pool to just under $5 million, so it appears they are set to go over this year. Scouts think Perez and Diaz, who have the same trainer (Franklin Ferriera), are both signed at nice values while the others are somewhere close to market value.
These are players that won't be helping until 2018-19-20, but if/when we get good again, our draft picks won't be as high, and the talent thins out a little, this is a way to overcome that in some capacity and maybe you hit a home run or two. Like Jorge Soler.