The international signing period started yesterday, and the Chicago Cubs kicked it off with a relatively big splash. The Cubs signed 16-year-old shortstop Enrique Acosta for a hefty $1.1 million. For comparison’s sake, late first rounders in the Draft typically see bonuses in that range. Acosta is already 6’1, 180, and is expected to eventually move off of shortstop as he gets bigger. He was considered one of the top bats in the Latin American class this year.

Baseball America (subscription only) says he’s got a quick bat and uses all fields. He’s expected to keep developing power as he gets bigger and stronger. He’ll probably work in the Dominican Summer League for a year or two before the Cubs figure out where to get him started Stateside.

The Cubs will probably make a number of additional signings, but Acosta might be the prize piece.

  • pfk

    Its moves like this that have me firmly believing that Ricketts does indeed have a plan. He has clearly and dramatically upgraded the draft/signing process. And he has seriously upgraded the facilities in the Dominican Republic. This is money spent that is overlooked by too many pundits. He said he wanted to upgrade the organizations infrastructure and improve building from within. So far, he’s made all the right moves in that regard. I find it very encouraging as this is what the elite clubs do.

    • Caleb

      Yes again, PFK. We’re going to need to remind people of this after every Cubs loss is followed by “Fire Hendry/Quade/Ricketts/Ramirez/Soriano/thewholeteam/everybodyonearth”

      I see Ricketts being the guy leading this org. into the world series. Then we’ll put up a shrine in his honor and make a mass pilgramage to it every year.

      • TWC

        Fire Caleb!

  • die hard

    shows how pathetic Cubs have become…..wag the dog type promoting news pinning hopes on an unproven 16 yr old….this type of news should be kept quiet or merely a small item on back about announcing that Quade vows to play small ball hereafter to improve RISP and that special sac bunt, sac fly and hitting behind runners drills will be mandatory before each game for all players rest of year…also before each game there will spring training drills such as hitting cut off man, taking extra base, backing up plays etc….

    • Brett

      The Cubs didn’t announce it. Baseball America did. And then I did.

      • Caleb

        And, it’s not “pinning our hopes.” I for one like to follow all Cub news, including major signings of possible future players.

        Hope this kid ends up 6’7, 240, and hits 80 homers a year for the Cubs!

  • CubFan Paul

    …either pfk is delusional or super sarcastic ..signing the 1 latin that your supposed to sign July 2nd is routine ..Ricketts promised to spend More, not the same ..& correct me if i’m wrong but the new Dominican facility was already in the works before he bought the team because it needed to be done ..Lowering the BigLeague payroll by $10-20million this year & excusing it by saying “We’r spending more on ‘baseball operations’ &we’r renovating & gonna spend more abroad&in latin america” a cop out ..Ricketts is cheap &pocketing profits because he’s a savy business man who spent $850million

    • Brett

      Taking money out of the big league payroll and saying you’re putting it to use elsewhere might be a cop out. But what if it’s not? What if it’s actually true? Based on the types of kids the Cubs took in the Draft, I suspect it might well be true – we’ll see who they actually sign, but they certainly selected kids with an eye toward spending more on the Draft.

      • pfk

        And, in the past, they failed miserably to sign draft choices because they didn’t pony up the money. Sure, the cubs had “plans”, lots of teams do. Their staff people draw up plans all the time – a wish list of sorts. Fact is they didn’t commit money to them. Ricketts has. Fact is, Ricketts got the job done for a new spring training facility. Fact is, although he didn’t do it correctly, he presented a plan for government funding of renovations and has a team still working on that. Unless you’ve been a baseball lifer, no way you buy the team and clean house immediately. You have to get a feel for whats good and worth keeping what needs improvement. He knew immediately about the scouting, drafting facilities needs. While he cut on field payroll, fact is, overall spending is up. He needed to get his feet wet with understanding the GM and staff. You watch, Cubfan Paul, big time change is coming.

  • CubFan Paul

    Brett they drafted a 6foot 250lb non athlete in the 2nd round with the pipe dream that he’l make it to the majors & play 1st base! That pick is the exact opposite of what Hendry & his team have been saying to replace Derek Lee -“we need defense 1st to help Castro” – that was his excuse for signing Pena over Berkman & other “defensively challenged” 1st basemen ..i dunno, im just tired of hearing excuses (higher budget on operations & injuries) when he hamstrung Hendry from the get go by lowering the payroll in a major market. Russell & Coleman aren’t major league ready, Hendry knew that &since week 2 of the season the team has been climbing uphill because going out to get vetern/capable reinforcements was never an option for the Ricketts ..i’ll stop now & go drink my coffee ..Lets go kick some white sox ass today!!

    • Brett

      I’m sorry; I just can’t agree that the Vogelbach pick (an 18-year-old kid) bears any relationship to the direction the big league club is taking. They drafted him because he’s got through the roof potential (if folks thought he could easily be signed, he would have been a first rounder), and they’re willing to pay for it (he circulated a memo before the draft telling teams not to take him unless they were willing to pay upwards of $1.8 million – mid-first round money – for him). I loved the pick, and many others. The Cubs weren’t drafting to restock the big league team; they were drafting to restock the farm system. That’s the first step in rebuilding an organization.

  • jeff

    His scouting report sounds similar to Javier Baez. It would be nice to have two young Gary Sheffield types around Wrigley in a couple of years. Here’s to hoping we get some draft pick signing news in the coming weeks.

    • Brett

      That’s the thing – it’s nice to hear about a top international signing… but the Cubs are *way* behind the pack on Draft signings. I’m assuming it’s because they took so many tough-to-sign guys.

  • savant

    The commisioners office will not release/approve overslot signings until just before the end of the amatuer signing period. With all of the over-slot guys the Cubs selected there should be a flury of signings announced in about three weeks.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Great post on the Dominican kid Enrique Acosta..anymore int player signings for the Cubs?

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