7/10 Cubs close to deal with Tseng
The Cubs are close to a deal with teenage right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng from Taiwan, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Tseng, ranked No. 29 on MLB.com’s Top 30 List of international prospects is expected to command a bonus of at least $1.5 million. The Cubs would not confirm the report.
Tseng, 18, is a known commodity in the international baseball world and was being pursued by several teams, including the Twins. The teenager is known for his upright, quick delivery and a fastball that can reach 95 mph. Poised and aggressive, he also throws a curveball and slider.
He also has a history on the big stage. A member of the 2012 World Junior Championship, Tseng also played in the 2012 Asian Baseball Championship for the national team for Chinese Taipei. He was the youngest player named to the Chinese Taipei World Baseball Classic roster.
So far, the Cubs have committed $3,470,000 of their $5,520,300 bonus pool to four players: shortstop Gleyber Torres, the top player from Venezuela and third-ranked international prospect, for $1.7 million; and Colombia’s right-handed pitcher Erling Moreno, ranked No. 17, for $650,000. The club also signed right-handed pitcher Jefferson Mejia for $850,000 and added catching prospect Johan Matos for $270,000.
According to Sanchez, the Cubs have a $2.8 million agreement in place with outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez, ranked no. 1, that put them $749,700 — or 13.6 percent — over their pool and into the penalty phase. Teams that exceed their pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the 2014-2015 signing period and have to pay 100 percent tax on the pool overage.
In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed their pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $250,000 during the next signing period and have to pay 100 percent tax on the pool overage. The Cubs can still acquire $1,315,600 in slot money because the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows teams to add up to 50 percent of the initial bonus pool, which in Chicago’s case was $4,557,200, but it won’t be enough money to keep them out of the most severe penalty.
Last week, the Cubs acquired four signing bonus slots — two from the Orioles and two from the Astros — in trades worth $963,000 on the first day of the international signing period.