Reports have suggested for several months the Cubs are planning on overspending in the International free agent market that begins July 2. The Cubs were restricted during the current signing period that ends June 15 due to exceeding their International signing bonus pool by more than 15 percent during the 2013-14 signing period.
The Cubs added top prospects SS Gleyber Torres, OF Eloy Jimenez and RHP Jefferson Mejia, who was traded to the Diamondbacks in the Miguel Montero deal, in the 2013-14 signing period and could not sign a player for more than $250,000 this year (2014-15).
According to Kiley McDaniel, the Cubs already have deals in place with several players that cannot officially sign until July 2. Based on what McDaniel has been told by his sources, the Cubs will spend more than its International signing bonus pool for the 2015-16 signing period. The Cubs will be penalized and will not be able to sign a player for more than $300,000 for two signing periods (2016-17, 2017-18) if McDaniel’s information is correct.
• Aramis Ademan, SS (Dominican Republic) – 5-foot-10, 150 pounds … Slick fielder, quick hands, should stick at shortstop, advanced feel for contact, left-handed, “Ichiro-like cut from the left side.” – Signing Bonus: $2 million
• Christopher Martinez, 3B (Dominican Republic) – Solid, average raw power, arm strength, above average bat speed, hands to play infield, slow feet at this point. – Signing Bonus: $1.5 million
• Yonathan Perlaza, SS (Venezuela) – 5-foot-8, 175 pounds … Average runner, chance to stay at shortstop, average runner, below average power, smooth swing produces hard contact. – Signing Bonus: $1.2 million
• Miguel Amaya, C (Panama) – 6-foot, 160 pounds … Bats left-handed, smooth swing, hits to all fields, tools “to be at least an average catcher.” – Signing Bonus: $1.2 million
• Anderson Amarista, RHP (Venezuela) – 6-foot, 178 pounds … Right-handed pitcher, 85-87 mph fastball, has touched 91 mph, “flashes a solid average curveball.” – Signing Bonus: $1 million
• Yunior Perez, RHP (Dominican Republic)– 6-foot-3, 175 pounds … Right-handed pitcher, 90-93 mph on his fastball, below average curveball. Signing Bonus – $650,000
• Luis Diaz, SS (Dominican Republic) – 5-foot-9, 155 pounds … Plus runner, chance to stay at shortstop, below average power, right handed, good feel for hitting. – Signing Bonus: $350,000
Kiley McDaniel indicated deals can fall through for various reasons and the figures he reported could change. Based on the information he has, the Cubs have $7.9 million committed to those seven players. The Cubs’ bonus pool is a little more than $3.2 million ($3,230,700). The Cubs can add bonus pool money through trades that could bring the International signing bonus pool to a little less than $5 million.
McDaniel added that scouts have told him the deals in place with Yunior Perez and Luis Diaz are “nice values while the other are somewhere close to market value.”
The front office will continue to explore every avenue to add talent to the organization. While the focus from the fan base and media is no longer solely on the system, the process to acquire impact talent and player development will continue to be a priority for the Chicago Cubs.