The news and rumors picked up significantly around Lazarito Armenteros Wednesday.
Cuban OF Lazarito Armenteros could sign with a team as soon as next week when he’s eligible on Feb. 10. There are at least nine teams “heavily involved” in the bidding for the 16-year old. And according to Jim Bowden, the Cubs are one of the teams in the mix for Lazarito.
Bob Nightengale and Jesse Sanchez reported there are nine teams with serious interest in signing Lazarito. The Braves have a private workout scheduled with him Saturday, the only team that Jesse Sanchez has linked to Lazarito in his updates.
Sanchez explained Wednesday that Lazarito “is evaluating different packages and how he fits in different organizations. Lazarito is now considering teams for this International signing period or the next.”
Lazarito received mixed reviews during his showcase last month. But he is still expected to receive a rather large signing bonus, “in the $15 million to $20 million range” according to Jesse Sanchez. The bonus could increase as more teams get involved in the process. Jim Bowden reported on his radio show Wednesday night that Lazarito’s signing bonus could reach the $25-30 million range.
The current 2015-16 International signing period ends on June 15. Lazarito falls under International signing guidelines, which means a team like the Cubs would have to pay 100 percent tax on the overage of their International signing bonus pool to sign him.
The Cubs are well over their adjusted 2015-16 International signing bonus pool of $3,169,300.
Players such as Orian Nunez, Henderson Perez, Jose Gutierrez, Luis Diaz, Hector Matos, Brailyn Marquez and Christopher Morel have signed with the Cubs since July 2, but their signing bonus has not been reported by a trusted resource like Ben Badler or Jesse Sanchez.
The Cubs have reportedly spent $11.85 million on seven players since July 2. Based on the signings and figures that have been reported, the Cubs have committed $20,530,700, including taxes. The Cubs are currently $8,680,700 over their International bonus pool for the 2015-16 signing period and will have to pay $17,361,400 in full on July 15, 2016.
If the Cubs sign Lazarito the total cost to the organization would be double the signing bonus he receives. On the low end estimate of $15 million provided by Jesse Sanchez, the Cubs would actually pay $30 million to add him to the system and begin his development path.
When the hype started with Lazarito, the contract Yoan Moncada signed with the Red Sox last year was used as a comp. Moncada received a $31.5 million signing bonus, the total cost to Boston was $63 million.
Now the Cubs have been linked to Lazarito updates will be provided on a regular basis until he signs with a team.