The Cubs were rather busy on the first day of the International signing period. And while the team has not made any announcements, multiple reports have indicated the Cubs signed several of the top International prospects: SS Yonathan Perlaza, OF Yonathan Sierra Estiwal, SS Aramis Ademan, C Miguel Amaya, RHP Yunior Perez and 3B Christopher Martinez.
The Cubs have been linked to Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez for months. Last month it was reported the Cubs had shown serious interest in Martinez. At the time it was unclear if the Cubs would even have a chance to sign him. Martinez falls under the International signing restrictions and he could be looking at a $10 million signing bonus. The Yankees reportedly pushed to sign him before the end of the 2014-15 International signing period (June 15). Martinez did not sign, and 10 days after the 2015-16 International signing period started, he is still available.
The Cubs are not seen as the favorites to win the bidding for him. Jesse Sanchez reported Thursday that the Dodgers and Giants are considered the front runners to sign Martinez. Sanchez pointed out the Cubs “might be the dark horse” and are still in the mix for Martinez.
The Dodgers and Giants have additional workouts scheduled with Martinez. The White Sox, Astros, Rangers and Angels have had at least two private workouts with Martinez. Alden Gonzalez reported a month ago the Angels were not in on Martinez.
Eddy Julio Martinez hits and throws from the right side. Martinez does not turn 21 until Jan. 18. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder is frequently compared to a young Andruw Jones.
• MLB.com Scouting Grades – Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 70 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60
Martinez has a “quick and compact power stroke,” can hit the ball out of the park to all fields and he works the count. Defensively, he has shown “good instincts” according to MLB.com with an “accurate arm” that would allow him to play center field. Martinez has played left and according to Baseball America he has the ability to play all three outfield spots.
The Cubs have already committed well-over their 2015-16 International signing bonus pool and will have to pay the 100 percent tax penalty on the overage, plus the front office will not be able to sign an International free agent for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods. With the Cubs already in the penalty it would make sense to sign as many players as possible during the current signing period.