7/3 Cubs sign three
Wednesday marked the start of the 2014-15 international free agent signing period, and on Thursday, the International Prospect League announced that the Cubs had signed three players.
Amateur players outside of the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) and Canada will be eligible to sign contracts with any Major League club so long as they turn 17 years of age by Sept. 1, 2015. Players that are already 16 plus years of age or will be 16 by Sept. 1 this year will be eligible. Under the current CBA, players with at least three years of professional experience who are 23 years of age or older have been considered pros and are exempt from international bonus pools. That will change with this year’s signing period as players now must have a prerequisite five years of pro experience in addition to being 23 years of age or older to be exempt from the spending limitations.
The Cubs have a designated bonus pool ($3,962,700), but they are not able to sign any big name prospects because they incurred significant penalties in the 2013-14 signing period after exceeding the international bonus pool by more than 15 percent. They will not be allowed to sign a player in this year’s signing period for more than $250,000. Their bonus slots retain their value, which could mean they will come into play as trade chips this summer.
According to the International Prospect League, the Cubs have signed:
* LHP Wander Cabrera ($250,000)
According to Baseball America, Cabrera, 16, is a 6-foot-2 left-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He trained with Amauris Nina, who also trained Eloy Jimenez, the outfielder who signed a $2.8 million deal with the Cubs last year. Cabrera played in the International Prospect League. His contract includes $50,000 in college scholarship money, which does not count toward the Cubs bonus pool.
* 3B Tony Rijo ($100,000)
According to Baseball America, Rijo is 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter with quick hands, a line-drive stroke and some power. His offense is ahead of his defense. He projects as a third baseman or corner outfielder. He trained with Jonathan Rosario and played in the International Prospect League.
* SS Yeiler Peguero ($250,000)
According to Baseball America, Peguero is an above average runner with an average arm. A switch-hitter, he played in the International Prospect League.