7/2 International flights
Tuesday’s Cubs trades weren’t just to acquire more pitching for the current team, but to bolster the resources they have for international prospects.
“This is an international class that our scouts really like, and we felt it was very deep,” GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “The addition of dollars can help us be aggressive in this international market.”
The Cubs have reportedly signed 16-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres ($1.7 million), considered the best player out of Venezuela in this year’s class and ranked third among all international prospects by MLB.com. The Cubs also have signed right-handed pitcher Erling Moreno of Colombia ($800,000). The team would not confirm those signings; the players must pass physicals before those deals can be finalized.
The Cubs are reportedly in the hunt for Dominican outfielder Eloy Jimenez, ranked No. 1 among all international prospects. At 6-4, 198 pounds, Jimenez is an advanced hitter with quick hands and projects as a corner outfielder because of his arm strength and ability.
Tuesday’s deals allowed the Cubs to acquire four slots — two from the Orioles and two from the Astros — and they traded one to the Dodgers in the Carlos Marmol exchange. According to Hoyer, the net total was $963,000. The extra money increases the Cubs’ total international pool to $5,520,300, the highest among all teams. The Astros’ pool dropped from nearly $5 million to $4,159,000.
This is the first year teams are assigned bonus pool money to sign players not eligible for the First-Year Player Draft in June because they are from outside North America. Teams’ bonus pools are based on the previous year’s won-loss record. Each team has four bonus slots adding up to its total, and is allowed to acquire more slots worth as much as half of that team’s original allotment.
By moving Scott Feldman when they did, the Cubs could have the money available on the first day — Tuesday — of the new annual signing period for international free agents.
— Carrie Muskat