The Chicago Cubs’ commitment to spending money on the amateur side of the game continues to impress. After a number of solid international signings, the Cubs are reportedly opening up the checkbook to sign a number of high end draft picks who slipped in the draft due to signability concerns, including top prep players Shawon Dunston, Jr., Dillon Maples, and Dan Vogelbach (the latter two of whom were recently named All-Americans by Baseball America).

And another top high school, overslot, hard-to-sign player may soon be coming into the Cubs’ fold.

In addition to the stellar crew we talked about earlier this week, 39th round pitcher Ricky Jacquez has been tweeting (assuming that’s actually his account, which isn’t always the case) a variety of things that suggest he really wants to sign with the Cubs.

Jacquez is an interesting case – a UT signee, he was expected to command a huge signing bonus to forego that college commitment, but had recently dealt with some injury issues. The Cubs reportedly wanted to watch him on the Summer circuit before deciding whether to shell out top dollar for him. He’s now finished with Summer ball, so a decision should be coming soon.

Literally no one believed the Cubs would be able to sign all of Dan Vogelbach, Trevor Gretzky, Shawon Dunston, Jr., Dillon Maples, and Ricky Jacquez (in addition to the guys who’ve already signed, and top pick Javier Baez, whom everyone still assumes will sign). In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone around draft time who believed the Cubs could sign more than two of those five. And now, they’re on the verge of signing all five. I can barely wrap my head around it, if you’d like to know the truth.

Adding to my head-spinning, reader JulioZuleta (almost certainly *the* Julio Zuleta) points out that the Cubs may have already reached an agreement with yet another star prep pitcher. Michael Jensen was signed on to attend USC in the Fall, but is reportedly instead signing on with the Cubs.

  • Matt Murton

    Well as long as these kids have a pulse, I’m sure they’ll be better than Rodrigo Lopez

  • MichiganGoat

    This is unprecedented and should shut up all the “Ricketts is cheap, doesn’t want to win, just wants to sit and count his profit” fans that keep complaining that he isn’t being reactionary and taking immediate action. He is obviously willing to spend to improve the team and signing draft picks is the first stage is building a quality, planned winning team. He is being patient and not being reactive, great job Ricketts.

    • CubFan Paul

      MG, ur delusion: Cricketts is cheap nor did he plan to win this year (2011) & he’s worth $2plus Billion so sitting around & counting profits is a given ..i give you Lopez, Ortiz, Wells, Looper, Ojeda, DeWitt, the bumbling left fielder and the decreased payroll this year to counter your 1st sentence/arguement ..just saying

      • Fishin Phil

        Why should he waste money on this year when it is already a lost cause? Those guys are just cheap filler while he is busy spending money on the future. I’m beginning to think Ricketts actually has…. wait for it……
        A PLAN!!!

        • CubFan Paul

          umm filler is my point! “those guys” shouldnt be on the CHICAGO CUBS unless you are cheap & have no interest in winning

          you get what you pay for fits apporpriately fits

          “those guys” Phil would never start the season on a contender nor would they be brought in to help a team win that had “Plans” on winning this year

          Sandberg said it best
          “I think it’s been a very good move for me to see how other organizations do it. I’ve admired the Phillies for the past 8-10 years with the success that they have had at the major league level. There are a lot of familiar faces and familiar names that I know from the olden days when I was there. Just to see things done differently. What the Phillies are about is they’re a family organization and that’s really how they run their business. Everybody’s on the same page and that is to win a World Series at the Major League level,” Sandberg said.

        • MichiganGoat

          That exactly my point, this is the type of move an organization makes that is planning for the future instead of reacting to right now. There was no reason to spend extra money this year on FA … That exactly what the Cubs have done for the past 20+ year, sign big name FA just because they are FA. I can’t remember a time when the Cubs are planning now for five years latter… This is a great move, sadly some people just are never happy.

          • CubFan Paul

            “reacting now” ..huh?

            i’m talking/pissed about November 2010 – February 2011, not “now” as people keep referencing

            It was last November when the season ended & Ricketts lowered the payroll for a bad team instead of taking a few million out of his ashtray to improve this team – Fact

            If he “thought” he could contend w/ a lowered payroll (he most definitely didnt) he would of given Hendry the tools/resources to make better moves Week 1 when 2 starting pitchers went to the DL for 4-6wks – FACT

            my point is, Cricketts gave up on this team (2011 big league team thats 42-61, not the minors) back in November of 2010

            Patting him on the back for drafting “good prospects” that fell in the draft is stupid because drafting good available talent should be a given

            What about the Big League Club?

            • Ron

              How do you think the Phillies did it? They sucked for a while until they had a solid core of home grown talent that was cheap which frees up money forFA. You have to have the core first. Look at the Yankee in the 90s and how they compete now. It is all about a core of home grown for on field talent and trades.

              • CubFan Paul

                how did the Phillies do it? they have a 2011 payroll of $166MILLION (i’ve seen it in recents reports being north of $175MILLION) ..Thats how the Phillies did it

                Roy Halladay 3yrs/$60million 2011-2013
                Ryan Howard 5yrs/$125mil 2012-16, $20mil this year
                Cliff Lee 5yrs/$120mil 2011-2015
                Roy Oswalt $16mil this year
                Chase Utley 7yr/$85milliion commitment 2007-2013
                Raul Ibanez 3yrs/$32million ’09-’11 ..was a free agent the same year Milton Bradley was ..we know how that turned out
                Cole Hamels 3yrs/$20mil
                ..i could keep going but i doubt that you would get my point


                • Jim

                  Howard, Utley and Hamels – guys the Phillies drafted when they sucked.

                  Halladay, Lee, Ibanez, Oswalt – guys they acquired after they won a World Series, to help them continue the run they are on.

                  I’m not about to give Ricketts a ticker tape parade for this year’s draft or tar and feather him for this abortion of a season but at least there is a semblance of a plan.

                  Hell, I would be OK with another lost season in 2012 and get another Top 5 draft pick.

                  It’s time for a Cubs owner to think long term instead of trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

                  After watching this team flounder for 40+ years, one isolated World Series isn’t enough for me – I want to see a solid Yankees run of dominance.

                • hardtop

                  pitching, pitching, pitching. invest in pitching.

            • STG3

              The Fact that the Big league Club sucks is not the Ricketts fault, its Hendry and the Tribune. The Ricketts have stated that they want to build the Cubs from the Bottom up. This is the First step for that. I am watching the trade deadline to see how much rope they give Hendry, but that is another subject. Let me ask this what is the one thing all of the really good clubs have in common? I good to great farm system to dip into when they need player or trade. Not to mention it is better to develop pitching then getting it in FA. The Ricketts are following through with their promises that made with they Brought the Team, that they were going to build a strong farm system.

              • CubFan Paul

                “The Fact that the Big league Club sucks is not the Ricketts fault, its Hendry and the Tribune” – your words STG3

                actually it is his fault this year that the big league team sucks (all the points i made above)

                & what about his promise to win that nobody mentions?

                like i said earlier: patting him on the back for things he should already be doing is stupid/asinine/give all the kids medals & dont take score

                • STG3

                  It is going to take time to clear up the mess, he was stuck with. Sometimes it takes time to rebuild and I don’t remember The Ricketts saying anything about winning now. I believe he said they were going to build for a long run of winning.

                • Madprizamwoo

                  CFan Paul – who exactly did you want them to sign in the off season or trade for in April when our two pitchers hit the DL.

                  You don’t seem to get the point that prior Cubs owners would of only signed 1-2 of these 1st round talents. We are getting 5!!!! I think this is exactly what the Cubs need in an owner. Someone who gets that the band aid method, which you are suggesting, sign an expensive FA that may or may not help but certainly hand cuffs the team for years, see fuku zam sarino etc doesn’t work if you want to win consistently.

                  I like what I’m seeing in Ricketts. Let’s hope he smart enough not to sign Fielder and Pujols as that will kill our team for years to come.

            • BPaoni

              You are an idiot, just because all his assets may be worth $2 billion doesn’t mean he has that much to throw around. He has to pay off his purchase of the team too, Ricketts doesn’t just have $200 million like the Yanks to hide the teams bad contracts.

              • CubFan Paul

                I’m not an IDIOT, i’m informed unlike you apparently

                Ricketts founded “InCapital LLC” in 1999 and it turned into the leading underwriter of corporate bonds sold to individual investors. In 2008, as the Cubs deal was percolating, InCapital bought LaSalle Broker Dealer Services, increasing its hold in the retail corporate bond market. – university of Chicago Magazine

                the $2plus Billion i mentioned wasnt Cubs Revenue or TD Ameritrade assets, InCapital LLC is his own little side business that i was talking about.

                So before calling someone an idiot maybe you should know the facts BPaoni ..So to my point, yes Tom Ricketts does have $200milliom to hide bad contracts & he chooses not to

                • Madprizamwoo

                  CFan I’m with BP I’m starting to think your an idiot. Just cuz your business is worth x amount of $ doesn’t mean you have that $ liquid. He still has shares in the parent company and he has other investments so to suggest he has 200 m for just the Cubs is very stupid.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    its called: Ricketts gets a paycheck too – from the Cubs, td ameritrade, inCaptial, the soccer team he has interest in etc…

                    so instead of me calling you stupid Madprizamwoo, i won’t because you’re uniformed & im done swimming in the kiddie pool with you

                    • Mike

                      I don’t doubt Ricketts could go after winning now and later, but I’m plenty satisfied with focusing on building from within (as long as he makes the right front-office and coaching moves this off-season). That’s the approach that turns around a franchise. That and investing in facilities.

                      On that note, a request for Brett: Being from several states away, how about a post updating the situation on facility-related improvements? Is he still feeding into that? Or have I just missed the info?

                    • Brett

                      As far as I know, facility improvements stopped before the season, and would presumably kick back up after the season. The focuses now are the new facilities in Arizona and the Dominican Republic, and getting the city/state to pony up for Wrigley.

  • RoughRiider

    Another source says #10 Danny Lockhart has signed.

  • Bleedin Blue

    I believe you guys about all these signings but I want to see a link to a website and sbnation doesnt count because they are a sports blog.
    I really hope these signings are true but I want to proof.

  • Jason

    This is a great sign ! I hope it’s not just a one year thing but a continues effort every year to build the Minor League system. The minor league system is getting better but it would be great to even build it more and more and have a Minor League system that other franchises would covet. Would love to see a Top 10 Minor Leagues year in and year out Ricketts is making that 1st step :)

  • Mike S

    Seeing how the Cubs will have a top 5 pick next year in the draft (and the 9th pick again if Baez doesn’t sign)…I hope that Rickett’s isn’t spending all this money just on the first draft he has the opportunity to. Thoughts?

    • Fishin Phil

      If he truly does have a plan, I would think he has a decent amount budgeted for next year’s draft as well.

  • Cheryl

    this continues to be a really good sign for the future. Ricketts was stuck with some players that had long term contracts. I hope he doesn’t extend Ramirez but if he’s willing to call it quits qith Soriano that isn’t the mark of someone cheap. The so-called untouchables are a worry. There are some like Wood and Marshall that should definitely be kept for a variety of reasons. JH needs to remember that the long-term betterment of the club will be development from within.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    If there is one bright spot that Ricketts has done is replenish our farm system..its slowly getting I need a win on my birthday…Go Cubs

    • TWC

      Happy b-day, Ramy16! May all your birthday wishes come true… except for the ones involving Aramis Ramirez signing a new long-term contract with the Cubs, that is.

    • Fishin Phil

      Happy Birthday! I hope Ramirez hits two homers for you today! But like TWC, I hope he doesn’t sign a long term extension.