The Cubs still have almost four months to sign international free agents. The deadline is July 1st and the Cubs will have to pay a dollar for dollar penalty for those under 23 years old. The Cubs have been linked to several Cubans through the past 8 months but have yet to sign anyone but Eddy Julio Martinez. Some prospects have even drifted away from the Cubs to other teams, most notably Adrian Morejon and Jorge Ona to the Padres. Neither player has officially signed with San Diego, and they might not until July 2.
What most people do not know is the Cubs went out and signed 27 prospects since July 2, 2015. The Cubs still have 116 days left in the period. It sure seems like a long time, but every day that goes by is a day the Cubs miss an opportunity to sign one.
Pitchers Norge Ruiz, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Cionel Perez are still available. Signing 1, 2, or all 3 would make up for the Cubs losing their top 2 picks in this year’s draft. At this time, I think Ruiz might be the main target in terms of dollars, while Gutierrez has the higher potential.
Badler still sees the Cubs in on the other three though. I don’t know if the Cubs can get all three, considering the overage charges.
If I had to pick one, I don’t think I could make a choice.
- While Ruiz is the most talented, he lacks size, but he can use 4 pitches to get hitters out.
- Gutierrez has the highest upside in terms of what his pitches could be, but he could take the most time to develop as he is more like the young Nuke LaLoosh vs the older Nuke LaLoosh: All flash, no command.
- Perez is only 19 and a lefty, but his size (5’8”, 146 pounds) screams reliever despite having high quality pitches.
It should be interesting to see what the Cubs do, if anything at all.
Here is the whole list of International Free Agents the Cubs have signed. The list was compiled by Arizona Phil at the Cub Reporter. The players in Red and Bold were announced last summer. Most of them saw time at Fall instructs in Arizona.
*bats or throws left
|Pitchers||Jose Albertos (Mexico) – age 16
Maikel Aguiar (Venezuela) – age 19
Javier Assad (Mexico) – age 17
* Faustino Carrera (Mexico) – age 16
Carlos Ocampo (Colombia) – age 17
* Brailyn Marquez (Dominican Republic) – age 16
Hector Matos (Dominican Republic) – age 16
Yunior Perez (Dominican Republic) – age 16
* Jose MacDonna (Dominican Republic) – age 19
Edison Novas (Dominican Republic) – age 18
|Catchers||Miguel Amaya (Panama) – age 16
Henderson Perez (Venezuela) – age 16
# Herson Perez (Venezuela) – age 18
Kevin Zamudio (Mexico) – age 17
5 of these 6 are Shortstops according to Arizona Phil
|* Aramis Ademan (Dominican Republic) – age 16
Luis Diaz (Dominican Republic) – age 16
* Christopher Morel (Dominican Republic) – age 16
Orian Nunez (Dominican Republic) – age 17
# Yonathan Perlaza (Venezuela) – age 16
Isaac Paredes (Mexico) – age 16
|Outfielders||# Jose Gutierrez (Venezuela) – age 16
* Kwang-Min Kwon (South Korea) – age 17
Fernando Kelli (Venezuela) – age 17
Eddy Julio Martinez (Cuba) – age 20
* Ruben Reyes (Mexico) – age 19
* Abraham Rodriguez (Panama) – age 16
* Jonathan Sierra (Dominican Republic) – age 16