cubaBecause he’s been pitching at Extended Spring Training, you haven’t heard much about Armando Rivero, the Chicago Cubs’ most recent Cuban signee. Although the 25-year-old righty is not in the same class as, for example, an Aroldis Chapman coming out of Cuba, the Cubs gave Rivero a $3.1 million signing bonus, which is a very healthy sum on the international market.*

Now, we’ll finally get to see him in action. Jesse Sanchez reports that he hears Rivero is set to make his professional debut this week at Kane County. Although he’s expected by most to be a reliever long-term, he’ll likely begin as a starter, even if just to make sure he gets his innings in.

Cubs VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod spoke about Rivero back in March, and it will be interesting to see how he progresses in the Cubs’ system. Because of his age and relatively advanced experience, you could see him moving up the ladder quickly, and reaching the upper levels of the minors by the end of the season.

It would certainly be nice if Rivero emerged as a legitimate bullpen option for the Cubs as soon as 2014. They could use it.

*Because Rivero is 25, you’ll note that his signing bonus was not subject to the international spending limitations. Those limitations, and the fact that he was immune to them, probably served to artificially inflate his bonus to some extent.

  • steve123

    Do you believe that the signing of other Cuban players (Soler) makes us more likely to be able to continue to keep signing other Cuban players? Or is it still mainly just a money thing?

    • hansman1982

      Mostly a money thing. For most of these kids they know this is, likely, to be their only chance at a payday that will make up for the fact they will probably never see their families again.

    • mak

      Some people have floated that theory as to why the Cubs gave 7M(?) to Concepcion. With the new spending rules and smarter front offices, you need to utilize every market advantage possible. I wouldn’t discount it.

    • 5412


      As a guy who taught the subject of negotiations for years I can say yes for sure.
      What the term is called is “last look”. The agent will get a bunch of offers, then take their top offer and negotiate with who they want to play for. I think the Cubs history of drafting and signing Cuban players will give them the opportunity to sign more because the Cuban players will want to be among their peers..

      At the same time, if they feel some other team offered too much money, they may counter offer at what they feel is fair, then it is up to the player and his agent as to whether to accept it or not.

      So yes, it will keep the Cubs in the game with a legitimate shot at signing other Cuban players.


    • JoeyCollins

      I think it could be a significant factor for guys who fall under the international spending limit. Teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, and a few others could blow others away and make it a non-point in the past. It doesn’t matter how much a player likes a team, or how many Cuban players they have, as long as one team is willing to out spend everyone else (see Soler and Puig). Now the money is a lot tighter and if the dodgers can only offer little more than the next team i can see players making more choices based on things like how many Cuban players are already in the orginization, how much contact they have had with the team, and other non-monitary issues. If they don’t add an international draft the Dominican academy could end up being a huge bonus for the Cubs.

  • Le Cubs

    Brett is there any more info on those 2 young international players the Cubs were in on? I think it was Jiminez and Torres. What type of players are they and when could the be signed? Also what would the addition of those 2 do to our minor league system?

    • cjdubbya

      International signing day is July 2.

      • cms0101

        To be clear, July 2nd is the first day those players can sign. June 15th ended the 2012-2013 international signing period, so this is the quiet period before the next signing period begins.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Oh yes, I remember this guy. Wasn’t he Ricky Schroeder’s sidekick on Silver Spoons?

    • Stinky Pete

      I thought that was Jason Bateman…

  • tom

    is EVERY player coming International, are the Cubs going to sign any USA players ???????

    • TWC

      Woo-hoo! Nativism rules!

      Now go get bent.

      • DarthHater

        By the ancient laws of combat, we are met at this chosen ground, to settle for good and all who holds sway over the five points: us natives, born rightwise to this fine land, or the foreign hordes defiling it.

      • ProfessorCub


    • Timothy Scarbrough

      It’s not like they just participated in a 40 round draft for domestic amateurs…

      • bryan

        LOL ^

      • DarthHater


        • Can’t think of a cool name

          I hear the Cubs are high on the guy in the picture. He’s pithing in the Mexican league right now.

          • Can’t think of a cool name


  • JJ

    Can someone remind me what happened to Concepcion – is he still in the Cubs system?

    • willis

      This again…He got mono from Hayden Simpson when they played 7 minutes in Heaven on a road trip to Quad Cities, withered up and his arm turned into permanent jello.

    • Rich H

      He has been assigned to KC but has not thrown a pitch anywhere this year. I am still holding out hope that we get some value from him but that hope is fading fast.

      • Mak

        Not even a whisper of him from AZ Phil at EXST. In fairness, he usually doesn’t get to see rehabbing pitchers, but the lack of any appearance is concerning. Last I heard it was a leg injury?

        • Cubbie Blues

          Probably from a dirty slide. 😛

          • willis

            nicely done.

  • sven-erik312

    Hope he comes through, looking forward to seeing what he can do. How is it going for Gerardo Concepcion? Anybody seen him this season? I hope the kid makes it.

    • DarthHater

      Has Kris Bryant signed yet?

      • Jp3

        Shelby no he hasn’t:)

  • sven-erik312

    Oops, I didn’t see those questions, they must have come in just as I was typin…

  • PK

    Of course it’s not his signing bonus that is artificially inflated, but the under-25s that are artificially depressed.

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