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One down, two to go.

While Gerardo Concepcion may be the least glamorous of the three big name prospects coming out of Cuba this Winter (together with Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler), the Cubs are undoubtedly pleased to have landed the first one of the three to sign. News of the Cubs signing the lefty pitcher comes from Jorge Ebro, who says only that the deal is a “multimillion” one, but that details will be coming soon.

The 18-year-old was the rookie of the year at the highest level of professional baseball in Cuba last year before defecting, and becoming a free agent two weeks ago. The Cubs were one of his heaviest pursuers, but they had competition from as many as 10 other teams.

Concepcion is a true prospect, who will obviously need any number of years in the minor leagues before he could make an impact in the bigs. Most see him as a highly polished starting pitching with the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the Major Leagues. Obviously we’ll have much more on the pitcher as it becomes available, but it’s fair to say that he’s at least a top 15 prospect, and probably approaching the top 10 in the system. Indeed, Kevin Goldstein says he’d slot Concepcion in at number 6.

This signing is great news.

UPDATE: Enrique Rojas cites a source who tells him the signing for a “$7 million contract.” That’s just a hair North of what I would have expected in a bonus for Concepcion, but, at the same time, I expected it to be higher than I expected (if that makes sense) given the impending CBA limitations on international spending. Teams were going to spend aggressively. Unreported at this point is whether that $7 million “contract” is simply the signing bonus, or if Concepcion is getting some kind of actual, structured contract. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

UPDATE II: I asked Enrique Rojas if it was a Major League deal and he said that it was. That would mean Concepcion would go on the 40-man roster right away (unless there are some special circumstances of which I’m not aware), which would mean the Cubs have to clear up another spot (and would have to carry Concepcion on the 40-man for a long time).

UPDATE III: Another side effect of a Major League deal – again, assuming it’s not some kind of anomaly – is that Concepcion would be using an option year each season he’s on the 40-man but not called up to the bigs. Without getting into a convoluted discussion of options, that would mean the Cubs would *have* to call Concepcion up within three years (possibly four, if he spends his entire first year at A-ball), or subject him to waivers. He would be just 21 or 22 at that time.

  • Matt

    Well if we gave him a major league deal, that means Soler and Cespedes are getting one too. Obviously Cespedes you would expect it. Not sure I would want two of those spots up to players not expected to have a chance at the majors for atleast 3 years. That is the only thing I could see negative in this. Great signing, glad to have him!!!

  • NL_Cubs

    I LOVE the way the new front office is adding pitching depth…and they’ve only been in office for < than four months. This should be a fun franchise to watch in the coming years.

     

  • Joe

    So I like this move, Concepcion could definitely be a valuable contributor down the line. What I’m wondering is how the signing might, if at all, affect the operating budget and the other possible moves for 2012, namely Soler and Cespedes? It might not at all, knowing that no one really knows what the actual operating budget is, but they are the targets that really get me excited. I’m not of the mind that signing one of the Cuban players will legitimately affect the chances getting the others as this is a huge opportunity to cash in on the best contract available.

  • Kyle

    I’m going to take a moment to gush again.

    Epstein was on the short-list of candidates I wanted for the front office going into the offseason, but he wasn’t at the top. I also was not a fan of the rebuilding method. But my goodness, to see it in action.

    My primary hobby is chess. I take it pretty seriously, actually, and spend a ton of time studying the games of the great masters. What’s striking about those games is how *simple* they frequently make it look. They come up with simple, straightforward plans and execute them with ruthless precision that wipes their opponents off the board. Their moves seem so obvious, but only after you’ve seen them and how they all fit together.

    Theo Epstein and his front office braintrust are the grandmasters of baseball. They’ve addressed our organizational deficiencies with startling accuracy. A few simple principles have guided our every move this offseason, and it’s stunning to see how simple it all looks in retrospect.

    1) We’ve piled up on long-term assets, including prospects and players with low MLB service time. (Have I mentioned lately how much I adore the Travis Wood pickup?)

    2) We’ve picked up players whose statistical indicators show they are better than their reputations and/or recent performance. (Wood!, Volstad, *sigh* Ian Stewart, Torreyes).

    3) We’ve addressed our two biggest organizational holes: first basemen and left-handed starting pitching prospects.

    4) It seems very, very clear that they’ve read the reports floating around about how Wrigley has become a left-handed power-hitter’s paradise in recent years. Or more likely, they came to that conclusion independently from much more advanced data of their own. LaHair, Rizzo, Jackson, (sigh) and Stewart all have the potential to add some left-handed power to the lineup in the next year. Meanwhile, we’ve been loading up on left-handed pitchers to help neutralize other teams’ lefties, with Wood and Maholm joining the rotation. The righty we added (Volstad) is a ground-ball pitcher to help mitigate his vulnerability to lefties.

    There is some serious mojo at work here. These guys know what they are doing. I’m starting to get very optimistic that 2012 has some upside to it that most people aren’t seeing yet. Not playoffs upside, but I’d put .500 within reach if a lot of things go very, very well.

    • DocWimsey

      I’ll second that. For years, I have wanted someone like Theo Epstein to run the Cubs. After Hendry was fired, I was hoping that one of Theo’s understudies would be hired, never thinking that Theo would be available himself. In a sense, with Theo and Hoyer both getting tabbed, I got my stated and unstated wishes at the same time!

      This particular move might not pay off, but moves *like* this will.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        Theo altered between 2 and 3 on my list behind Cashman. The thing I am beginning to notice is that Theo seems to only care about the Cubs in terms of the team being successful. He has stated before that he is a huge fan of the Red Sox and I think that is where his heart will always lie. With that said, I think that is the greatest thing we could hope for.

        While I think Theo and Co. are smart enough to realize that someone like Kerry Wood has value beyond what he does on the field, I also think they have enough emotional detachment from everything Cubbie in order to be able to do what is best for the overall success of the club and not what a fan with stars in their eyes might do. It matters more about the pinstripes than who those pinstripes are on.

        • die hard

          If you are talking about team chemistry, the best formula for good chemistry is more wins than losses. You never hear about good chemistry on a team with a losing record. If Cubs were contenders each of last 5 years, there would a statues of Zambrano and Soriano being chiseled as we write. Miles of ink would extol them as leaders in the clubhouse. Wins is a cure all.

          • Edwin

            I…agree? Great post.

    • Ivy Walls

      more work still but in that direction towards a .500 season

      • Kyle

        Kyle’s Formula for 81 wins in 2012:

        1) Have Wood, Volstad and Stewart hit their upside. Wood and Volstad need to have runs match peripherals, and Stewart needs to show that the Brain Trust is right about being able to fix a flaw in his swing.

        2) Don’t trade Garza (not saying we shouldn’t, just that this depends on it happening).

        3) Have good health all year and no surprise major underperformances.

        4) Get about five wins out of positive variance. Clutch hitting, pythagorean luck, whatevers.

        It’s a lot to ask for, but it can happen. The last Marcel projections I saw over at rlyw.net had the Cubs at 0.6% to make the playoffs (1.0% if we add the second wild card).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This is just a wonderful comment.

      • MichiganGoat

        Agreed. The comments the last few evening have really been of the highest quality. I think the negative Nancys have finally realized that all the patience and looking toward the future is starting to payoff and their complaining just makes them look totally foolish. What the FO has done in short time is beyond impressive and is a vision Cubs haven’t had in my lifetime. Continue the great comments.

        • Dave H

          Completely right MG. Once the dominoes set up by this front office start to fall ( And they did with the Marshall trade), We would then sit there and think WOW!

          Loved the chess analogy, Kyle.

          Diehard must have remembered about the Mustache gang in Oakland many moons ago. Bunch of guys who couldn’t spell chemistry, but they won.

  • die hard

    The kid may have potential but to gush over someone who may be in camp Spring of 2014 is a bit over the top, inst it? I would be impressed if Cubs signed someone from Cuba who was major league ready now and then trade him to the Marlins for someone who could start now. If Cubs push Garza out one way or the other, the rotation would be too thin to compete in 2012. So, yes, getting a kid with potential is a step in the right direction. But only a small step.

    • MichiganGoat

      And we have a winner!

    • DocWimsey

      Um, the Cubs are too thin in both pitching and batting to compete in 2012, anyway. That is not and never has been an issue.

      What would be cool is if Theo & Hoyer can get the team to the point where a good signing or two next winter could make the team competitive for 2013.

  • BleedBlueInWestNeb

    Do Cespedes, Soler, and new Cub farmhand Gerardo Concepcion all have the same agent? Really like this signing, and just hoping that Cespedes is next and Soler too.

  • BleedBlueInWestNeb

    the amount of work, and clearly, the type of thinking behind the moves, has been impressive from Theo and Jed at this point. A real plan is in place and as randy moss once said “it’s gonna be a fun ride”…although that was in minnesota the second time around, anyways as i digress…

    This shit is awesome! When i read the comments *daily* here on BN recently and especially tonight it’s almost people are chalking up Cespedes and Soler as like a done deal. i’m excited too but my goodness we’re gonna be a disappointed bunch if Cespedes doesn’t sign with the Cubs. I sure hope he does and i’d love to be at that point where we’re listening too or reading quotes here on BN from theo, jed, mccleod on the type of player Cespedes is and what they expect and all…it will be exciting.

    for now i’m just excited about adding a young lefthanded starting pitching prospect. As for the contract and dollars, i mean i trust these dudes, so whatever they decide is cool with me.

    I think the money on the dominican facility, the willingness and readiness of TR to move Z (credit Theo for getting Volstad somehow) shows he’s not going to be a tight owner. Oh yeah and paying all these FO execs the money they’re getting too.

    Just super excited about this regime and can’t wait for spring training. i wish i was rich enough to retire so i could just pick up and go watch spring training every day and get a sun tan. And try to get my picture taken with Epstein.

  • BleedBlueInWestNeb

    edited post where i posted link to pay article and it came up forbidden…check out bottom of wikipedia page where there is link to article from chicagonow.com about cuban scouting reports, picture of Soler, etc…cool article to read.

  • BleedBlueInWNeb

    does the fact that it now looks like you’ll have to clear out 3 more spots on the 40 man roster to land all three of these guys make it less likely it happens?

  • BleedBlueInWestNeb

    hope not

  • http://bleachernation.com DL HUYCK

    Excellent pickup. Young hard throwing Lefties are hard to find.Just hope we dont rush him and allow him to develop in our system.

  • Sayueri

    With Concepcion on board, if the Cubs can get Soler, I don’t care what happens with Cespedes.

  • steve

    Isn’t Garza’s arbitration hearing today??? YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kyle

      It is, and I’m quite excited about it. I fully expect the Cubs to win and get him for $7.95 million this year, a million-plus less than I expected going into the offseason.

      I hate to be one of those fans who sees three moves lurking behind every innocent move, but the fact that this is going to arbitration makes me think the trade talks are about to perk up again. The Cubs may feel confident they can win (and improve his trade value significantly) while not worrying about the bad feelings it may cause (because he won’t be theirs soon anyway).

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        If the Cubs win, trade talks will resume almost immediately.

      • JR 1908

        Kyle, I am excited they are taking him to arbirtration too. What if they already had a deal worked out with another team. And that “other” team told the Cubs to take Garza to arbitration and win and we have a deal?? just a thought…

        • Kyle

          That thought occurred to me as well. Like I said, I hate the mentality that sees dominos falling every time a team makes a move, but this time, I just can’t help myself.

          • JR 1908

            Yeah, and I think we all love Garza. But man his 12.5 mill. aribitration figure is just rediculous…

  • Stinky Pete

    Random,
    I heard on XM this morning that Smyly could be 5th starter for Detroit. Ooooooooorrrrrrrrrrr he could be #2 at Iowa?

  • Spriggs

    Does anyone know how Concepcion might compare (stuff wise) to the Cuban lefty the Cubs brought in last year, Frank Del Valle? I know Del Valle is a few years older (22?), but he seemed very polished in the short time he advanced through the AZ League, Peoria, and Dayton last year.

  • rocky8263

    Excuse my ignorance but why can’t Concepcion be signed to a minor league contract?

    • Kyle

      He could have been, but presumably the Cubs included the major-league deal to help convince him to sign with them.

  • OlderStyle

    Am very pleased about this signing (moreso than prospect of Soler or Cespedes). The FO is creating a lot of quality depth in minors and looking to improve defense, getting rid of dead weight, etc.
    Nevertheless, I’m not a fan of this rebuilding (no, Theo’s “building” was legalistic semantics for a specific purpose. I don’t blame him, I’d do the same in his shoes.) The Cubs are a big market club, as other posters have pointed out, big market orgs don’t have to rebuild. It’s kind of insulting to the fan base to have continue waiting after over 100 years. On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence that there are a lot of club debts and the owners are limited in their resources to quickly rectify that situation. Whining that Mark Cuban or some other bazillionaire didn’t buy the club is pointless, the Ricketts are the owners end stop. So Theo doesn’t have the resources that he did with the BoSox, at least not for the time being. Ok, I’ve waited this long, I can wait a little longer. But as a fan for over 30 years I think I’ve earned the right to put a short timer on this to see results. Theo so far I trust you, but verify.
    Maybe, since I’m relatively new to this message board I tend to be a little more emotionally detached from the general mood on here. I really like this site, it is populated by intelligent posters where I can learn a good deal from and there is, for the most part, civil dialogue and exchanges with good moments of humor from Brett and other posters.
    But, I don’t understand all the gushing over Theo/Jed/etc. This new regime’s club hasn’t played one game yet. How can there be any conclusions drawn yet about anything the new FO has done? It’s like an intricate hypothesis that a renowned scientist has drawn on a board and the room is cheering it’s brilliance, but the experiments haven’t been conducted yet.
    To me, questioning the overall process and reasoning is a healthy exercise. I do hope the senior posters on this site are not trying to drown out the voices of dissent because they do not agree with them or Theo. If we’re trying to acheive group-think status then this site loses vitality and relevance. I want to state again, I really enjoy this site and the exchanges.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t want to give you a short shrift response to a thoughtful comment, but, for me – right now – the front office can only do things on paper. And, to my mind, they’ve done some really excellent things on paper. I’m not drawing any conclusions about how the team will perform in 2012 or beyond based on those paper moves – but I can certainly be excited about what I perceive to be good paper moves (again, the only kind they can make right now).

      Challenging the prevailing thought is always a good thing, and I thank you for it. But, just as groupthink is a bad thing, so too is contrarianism for the sake of contrarianism. I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing (you’re clearly not). But, instead I’m saying: sometimes, the group is right.

    • cjdubbya

      I completely get what you’re saying in regards to not wanting to wait any longer. (Seriously, 103 years? That’s insane) But at the same time, spending for the sake of inking decent talent to superstar contracts is basically throwing bad money after good. I think the majority of posters here are simply excited about the fact that there’s a clear plan for building something sustainable. Not to bring up the Yankees, but they had a core of guys that came through the system (Jeter, Posada, et al) and they then used their resources to add where needed.

      I think, in time, the Cubs will do the same. As you’ve seen, this offseason’s been about building the foundation for future success. Do we have too many “back-of-the-rotation” pitchers on the roster? Possibly. Should we keep Garza? I’d like to keep him, because I think he’s not quite an elite pitcher but pretty close to it. The plan is in place, and most here are buying in.

      Possibly a bit too much, but that’s the joy of being a Cubs fan. We say wait til next year thinking that something good may come in the future. With the steps being taken, there’s not the certainty of success, but it sure looks like that could be the case. Pitchers and catchers report in the next couple weeks, some players are already there, and seeing the plan put in place just builds the optimism.

      • OlderStyle

        I see what you’re saying. Maybe the long time suffering results in a commisseration-bond, I don’t know. But I would find my joy in being a Cubs fan, not in Harry Cary’s 7th inning stretch, not in the ivy, not in blue pinstripes, not in “Go Cubs Go”, not in Old Styles and bleacher bimbos or the hallowed historic shrine to baseball (those are all great peripherals), no I would find my joy in seeing the Cubs win. And to put it plainly, I’m damn tired of waiting.

        • cjdubbya

          I completely get that. End of the day, I’m happiest when they win. Being out of it by mid-May last year flat out sucked big time. If the players on this team show some hustle and pull out some wins, and we trend upward, I’ll be happier. And if this gets to be where it’s sustainable that the Cubs are legit World Series contenders, I’ll be happier still.

          Not satisfied with where the team stands on February 3, 2012, coming off a 71-91 season, but glad to see that there’s a plan, a tangible plan in place, and hopeful that it does indeed pay off.

          • DocWimsey

            Mid-May? Then you were an optimist! The 2011 Cubs were never in it. And the 2012 Cubs won’t ever be in it. Hustle won’t help that.

            However, we are starting to see the foundation for a team that could be very competitive in 2014. Indeed, with luck and a couple of good free agent signings next winter, it could be competitive in 2013.

    • Kyle

      “How can there be any conclusions drawn yet about anything the new FO has done? It’s like an intricate hypothesis that a renowned scientist has drawn on a board and the room is cheering it’s brilliance, but the experiments haven’t been conducted yet.”

      I think the more apt analogy would be engineering rather than science. We know what works through years of experimentation.

      To use my favorite example, Travis Wood has not thrown a pitch in a Cubs uniform yet. But I will cheer wildly for that pickup, because we have a lot of statistical experimentation that has already shown that pitchers with his peripherals at his age project to be at least league-average starting pitchers, if not a bit more.

      To muddy the metaphors even further, baseball isn’t deterministic. It’s probabilistic. So insisting that we wait for results to evaluate is risking results-oriented thinking, which is fallacious.

      But that’s all about how well the Cubs are rebuilding. As to whether or not they should have been rebuilding at all, I actually agree with you. I don’t think it needed to be this way. They could have slapped on some bandaids and taken a few 30% shots to make the playoffs while simultaneously building for the future. “Parallel fronts” and all that. But since that ship has sailed, I’m perfectly content to buy in to the idea of rebuilding and hope to see them do it as efficiently as possible.

      • OlderStyle

        agreed, more engineering than science. yet, there is more than one way to build a bridge or skin the proverbial cat. This laboratory, excuse me, workshop (Chicago) is a different model than the Boston one. If it was as simple as plugging in a formula, anyone could be a successful Major League GM if they had the secret formula.
        While, I believe I know what you mean by “baseball is probabilistic”, it is still the results that determine whether an organization is successful. Perhaps you and I would use different metrics to measure “success”, but me as a plain old fan wants to see a team regularly competing in the postseason and winning it all. cut and dried.
        I like the “parallel fronts” but I’m forced to wait out this retreat and refit for the future offensives. thanks for your response. Go Cubs.

    • JB88

      I don’t know if you are a Bears’ fan or not, but looking at the Cubs’ situation is a lot like looking at the Bears/Packers’ current situation.

      On one side you have the Bears. An aging team that has failed to build depth at key positions and so is a few key injuries away from going from competitive to moribund. On the other side is the Packers. The model of football, having depth throughout its system and talented enough last year to overcome losing and replacing half their starters over the course of the year to still win the Super Bowl.

      The Cubs are the Bears. Maybe in 2011 the Cubs could have been more competitive if they hadn’t had any injuries and all their players had performed to their highest potential. But that isn’t the best model for a football team and it certainly isn’t for a baseball team. There was and has been a fundamental flaw in the build of the Cubs (and the Bears) for a long time. The Cubs lacked starting pitching depth, valued high-priced FA acquisitions over home-grown talent, and played to the stereotype of Wrigley, rather than the reality.

      I understand the desire to have spent to get a Darvish and a Fielder this offseason. But assume that had happened, what are you left with? Your defense is still poor. Your starting pitching still lacks true depth. And you are likely relying on an aging outfield and poor defense all around.

      To borrow a line from Jack Donaghy: ” It was 1994, and I was ice climbing when I fell into a crevasse and hurt my leg. There was only one way out, so fighting every natural instinct I have, I did the thing I hated the most. I climbed down into the darkness. And when I came back to camp, I went to the person who cut my line and said, “Connie Chung, you saved my life.”” The Cubs needed to cut the line of high-priced FAs for a short time, climb down into the darkness, and build their ML and minor league depth.

      • OlderStyle

        I am a Bears fan and I understand exactly where you’re coming from on the Bears/Packer analogy. (as much as it pains me to admit it)
        Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for allocating resources to building a farm system and developing young talent. The Hendry Cubs were pretty hit and miss (mostly miss). I’m hoping the new Cubs triumvirate can do a much better job. But I cannot say that they have yet.
        Again, as a patient fan (maybe too patient) of a top market team, having to be told wait for the crops to come in while ticket prices remain same and yet we don’t make any strong FA signings tends to get my dander up.
        You must be of the camp, blow it up and start over. I am of the mindset bring on the construction crew not the bulldozers.

        • JB88

          I only discuss building when I think there are pieces of a foundation around which to build. What is there though? The assets in the minors are too far away to be completely relied upon and the assets at the majors are extremely thin. Garza, Soto, and Castro were the only true long-term assets on the ML roster before the start of this offseason. And, frankly, the shelf life on Soto is not very long. Maybe the same for a guy like Garza.

          That’s the problem with the building versus rebuilding analogy though — it requires a defined blue print. I just don’t know that the FA acquisition blue print is the best one for sustained success. And, given the new CBA, I don’t believe it will be possible to do both at the same time. The new luxury tax really clamps down on organizations that want to crazily overspend and with the new draft rules that isn’t as much of a market inefficiency as it once was either.

          So, again, sometimes you have to go down to go up. If going down for the next few years means that my kids get to enjoy consistent Cub winners for a decade or longer, I’ll take a few really lean years now.

          • OlderStyle

            I’ll try to put succintly what kind of an offseason I’d like to have seen:
            Chase Headley at 3B, Fielder on 6 year deal, a top-notch starter (not Darvish) along with the plethora of deals they’ve made already, less the glut of back end of rotation signings. I don’t think that is unreasonable and would make this team stronger in the here and now while not mortgaging any future possibilities.

  • Cheryl

    Very impressed with the way Theo and company have handled things so far. With Concepcion apparently a part of the 40 man roster trade and the possibility of two more Cuban signings fhere will defibitely be some chanes. If the Cubs win the Garza arbitration he will probably be traded. I think Barney will go to Boston. Soto will probably be traded.

    • Dave

      Would the Cubs carry two players who probably won’t see the majors for 4 years on the 40 man roster?

      • Kyle

        I don’t see why not. It sure seems like we are making an awful big deal out of those 40-man spots this offseason.

        Going down the roster right now, I wouldn’t break a sweat over losing Sonnanstine, Coleman, Gaub, Cabrera, Mateo or Reed Johnson.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          I think its too early to give up on Cabrera, but I have no arguments with the rest of the list. If the Cubs wait until late in spring training to make the roster move, there is a chance the player could clear waivers.

          • Cedlandrum

            People who are ready to give up on Cabrera are only looking at his numbers. The kid has a HUGE upside. He was another that has been pushed too quickly through the system. I will be the first to admit that when you look at the numbers it is not good.

            That said. The first time I saw the kid, I was wondering who the hell he was. He is very tall and fit. A lot of long lean muscle. His arm was crazy. I couldn’t believe the batters were putting wood on the ball and squaring him up. There was just so much movement. Kind of like Z. So much movement that couldn’t always harness it. Solid fastball- 92-94 sitting. Solid breaking stuff. But he has trouble consistently getting it over the plate, so he is constantly in long counts and often falls behind. So he is hittable.

            The plus side for Cabrera who looks like he should be playing WR in the NFL is that he was only 22 last year and pitching in AAA. So he has time to figure it out. He isn’t unlike a lot of young pitchers who struggle with control. There were times where it looked like he just made up his mind and wasn’t going to walk guys so he would take something off and aim it in there, and boom… it was killed.

            Again though for years people said that we lacked high ceiling guys. Well here is a very high ceiling guy. He could be a 2-4 in the rotation or a very solid 8th-CL in a bullpen. I hope he starts the year as a starter in AAA and gets a ton of innings.

  • JR 1908

    Can Brett or someone else please explain to me what exactly the Major League contract Gerardo got means? I know about the 40 man roster thing. But it seems the Cubs are paying him mostly to be in the minors, since he is so young. Once he is ready to pitch in the majors his contract will be about up? Or am i off on that??

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      It means he’s on the 40 man roster and he’ll burn through his options by 2014 and will HAVE to be on the big league roster in 2015, when he’s at the ripe old age of 22.
      (There are some quirks that may give the Cubs an extra year of options though)
      And it means he’s taking up a roster space that reduces roster flexibility since he’s not an option for the big league team.

      • JR 1908

        Thanks, do the Cubs still have his 6 yrs of control for his mlb playing time? When will he become a Free agent again?

        • Kyle

          Unless there’s something in his deal that says otherwise (which would be very rare for a kid his age), then he doesn’t become a free agent until he’s done the full six years in the bigs, same as someone we drafted.

          • JR 1908

            OK, so hopefully he’s ready by 2015 and we don’t have anthing to worry about,and have him until 2020 as a Cub. Do you guys know if it is common to have prospects such as this on the 40 man for several years before he is ready? Just curious… I swear I learn more on this site about mlb rules than I have the rest of my life combined! Thanks guys.

            • Kyle

              I wouldn’t say it’s “common” to hand out MLB contracts to raw prospects, but it’s not uncommon either. It’s a nice way to add a little incentive on a tough-to-sign player. The last two Cubs prospects I can think of to get MLB deals were Samardzija and Prior.

  • cubsin

    Matt Szczur also has a major league contract.

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