The Cubs signed five of the top International prospects when the 2015-16 signing period began on July 2. The Cubs have also signed OF Kwang-Min Kwon and OF Eddy Julio Martinez and in the process have sailed past their adjusted International signing bonus pool of $3,169,300.
The Cubs committed $7.65 million to five players on July 2, signed Kwang-Min Kwon for $1.2 million and landed OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3 million. Based on the multiple reports, the Cubs have spent $11.85 million during the current International signing period that ends on June 15, 2016.
With the Cubs facing the max penalty of 100 percent tax of the overage and not being able to sign a player for two years for not more than $300,000, the front office is expected to add more talent to the organization through International free agents. Specifically, the Cubs are “expected to be heavily involved with the top Cuban players subject to the bonus pool.” And one of those players is a very young southpaw.
According to Ben Badler, the Cubs “may be the favorites” to sign 16-year old Cuban left-hander Adrian Morejon.
Ben Badler’s report on Morejon is very encouraging for a player his age.
Morejon has pitched on the International stage at tournaments in Taiwan and he “was the MVP of the 15U World Cup last year in Mexico.” Morejon tossed a 124-pitch complete game that included 12 strikeouts, one walk and seven hits in Cuba’s 6-3 victory over the United States in the Gold Medal match.
Morejon is 5-foot-11, 165 pounds and “showed a good fastball” last year. As a 15-year old, Morejon sat in the mid- to upper-80s and touched 91 mph. Badler said he has a “feel to spin a curveball and a feel for pitching beyond his years.”
In order for the Cubs to sign him, Adrian Morejon “will need the commissioner’s office to grant him an exemption.” Morejon is a not a free agent yet. The commissioner’s office granted exemptions to INF Omar Estevez, who recently signed with the Dodgers for $6 million, and OF Jonathan Machado.
Reports have not surfaced on other Cuban players the Cubs may sign. But it could be expensive to play at the top of the market with the Dodgers, who reached agreements with OF Yusniel Diaz for $15.5 million and INF Omar Estevez.