Chicago Cubs Sign Another Top International Pitching Prospect, Erling Moreno

columbian flagIf an hour has ticked by today, you’re going to want to check back in, because the Chicago Cubs have probably made another move.

Today is the opening of the international signing period, and the Cubs have already added top Venezuelan prospect Gleyber Torres, big-time Dominican pitcher Jefferson Mejia, and bonus pool money with which to help them sign additional pieces.

Now they’ve added another pitching prospect, 16-year-old Erling Moreno, per Baseball America. Moreno gets an $800,000 signing bonus, per BA, which puts the Cubs at $3.35 million between Moreno, Torres and Mejia. The Cubs have added nearly $1 million to their approximate $4.5 million bonus pool, so they’re looking at some $2.15ish million left with which to play. The may need to add more still if they’re going to land the top-ranked prospect, Eloy Jimenez.

The Colombian righty stands 6’3″ and 190 lbs, and can already reach 90mph with his fastball. BA had him ranked as their 16th best prospect in this international class, while had him at number 17. Here’s some of’s take:

A hard thrower with a big body, long arms, and a good fastball, Moreno has a fearless approach on the mound. Moreno’s curveball and changeup have both earned praise from scouts and his fastball, which usually sits in the mid-to-high 80s, should increase with velocity as he matures physically. There is some concern about his pitchability in games and his overall athleticism, but all signs indicate that he will be a power pitcher in the future.

He’s most often compared to countryman Eric Julio, who might not throw as hard as Moreno but has better command in the strike zone. Moreno has shown a great amount of development in the last eight months and has really come into his own as a prospect.

Another lottery ticket, and another long-term (high risk) asset. The Cubs are going hard for them today, and you can certainly appreciate the approach.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

78 responses to “Chicago Cubs Sign Another Top International Pitching Prospect, Erling Moreno”

  1. Timothy Scarbrough

    I’m interested to see how people like Badler view the Cubs class with this top 4

  2. nkniacc13

    I wonder with these signings If the cubs have what is considered the top class this year. It will be interesting to see next year at this time where these guys are and thoughts on where they would be ranked

    1. TonyP

      They better end up with the Top class. They have the most money to spend (after todays money transactions)….

  3. EricR

    I like the aggressive approach but patience will be the word of the day for Cubs fans. We won’t be seeing many of these guys any time soon.

  4. Serious Cubs Fan

    Well that $210,000 in IFA money we gave to the Dodgers that terrible Marmol trade looks to be pretty valuable now if we want to sign Jimenez. There is no was Jimenez will sign for just $2.15 mil.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      You’re right… the front office probably had no idea how negotiations were going with Jimenez. You’re a better source.

    2. MikeW

      No was!

      1. DarthHater

        That’s even worse than being a has-been.

    3. Hansman1982

      Really so we get 500k for Marmol and trade some cap space for a reliever and that’s a terrible trade?

      1. Kyle

        The cap space for a terrible reliever part seems pretty meh.

        1. YourResidentJag


      2. Rebuilding

        This trade I don’t understand at all. Not sure why we would give up any IFA money to save $500k on Marmol. And I would rather have an open 40 man spot than Guarrier

        1. gocatsgo2003

          Umm… because they’re still net ahead almost $1MM in international money with all the other trades and they wanted to get SOMETHING for Marmol? The IFA money is essentially funny money until you actually use it, so it makes sense to use it to save real live money.

          1. Rebuilding

            My point is that they are treating IFA space as a precious commodity. If it valuable enough to trade Torreyes for then why include it here? I would rather they ate the $500k on Marmol and spread another $200k around in the Dominican

            1. Eternal Pessimist

              That’s because it isn’t your money being spent, or saved in this case.

          2. Kyle

            So would you say that draft picks mean nothing until you use them, so it would make sense to sell them (if that were legal)?

            1. DarthHater

              Comparing draft picks to slot space is comparing apples and oranges. Say you have $1.2 million of IFA space available and you plan to spend $1 million of it. You also have another potential deal you’d like to make to save some real cash, but the other team asks for $200,00 of your IFA space as part of the deal. If you werren’t planning to do anything with those IFA $$$ that’s worth more to you than the cash you’d save on the second trade, then you might as well do it.

              1. Kyle

                That’s entirely true. But if you are the Cubs, why would you not plan on spending your entire amount? Isn’t that the whole point?

                1. nkniacc13

                  Im sure the cubs will use it all. I think the poster was just making a point as to why some teams may do that.

                  1. Rebuilding

                    The only two teams I’ve even heard rumored to be shedding IFA money are the Marlins and the Astros. No surprises there for the two cheapest franchises in baseball. Yes, we picked up a lot more than we gave up, but I’m just wondering why give up any?

                    1. Kyle

                      I wonder if, had we known that the market would be this hot, we would have planned to be sellers of IFA pool money.

                      Of course, if we were sellers instead of buyers, that would change the nature of the market.

                    2. Hansman1982

                      Who else has bought? And you’re right, take a big buyer out of the market replacing them with a big and suddenly shit gets cheap.

                      Also, the cubs are busy accumulating assets to be used from 2014 on to help win on the big league team.

              2. Rebuilding

                As long as you’re playing the lottery anyway why not have a few more tickets? I just don’t understand valuing highly in one context (Torreyes) and not in another. I very much doubt the Dodgers would have walked away from the deal if you just dropped that portion

    4. Tom A.

      Your kidding correct? Dumping Marmol for anything was great ! I am sure they can acquire more allotment for pick ups. 210K will not matter. Not that big of a tax effect if go ovrr by 210K

  5. Jono

    Brett- it would be cool to give us an equivalent draft position to the first year player draft. Like, “this player would be an early second round pick” or something like that. Ive always been curious where soler would’ve been picked in the first year player draft. Im assuming he would’ve been a first rounder.

    1. Kyle

      Just spitballing

      Gleyber Torres goes in the supplemental first round
      Eloy Jimenez goes in the mid-2nd (I know it’s weird given his higher bonus)

  6. mak

    I still don’t understand the Marmol deal. Save $500k in real money (who cares) and part with $250k in IFA pool money (could be significant to get over the top with Jimenez). Someone break it down for me.

    1. Timmy

      You don’t understand it because it’s a terrible deal!

    2. Serious Cubs Fan

      Can you please ask Sahadev the next time you talk to him to ask Theo/Jed the next time he gets the opportunity to speak to him, To ask them about the thinking and logic behind this Trade? Please this trade is really mind boggling of how ridiculous it was. Why would they trade $210,000 IFA money for Guerreri and the just the chance they could save a little cash on Marmol. Are the Cubs more broke then we thought or is the Front office just lost there mind? (I get these are smart guys and know more then us, but damn it looks like a bad trade).

      1. Eternal Pessimist

        I would look at the 500K saved as 500K that could be spend on a free agent signing. Would it be worth more if we were able to add another 500K for an additional or better free agent signing? If so, this was a good deal for the cubs. Not saying they are spending it, but if they are spending all the money available, this makes 500K more available.

  7. ISU Birds

    I get everything that happened over the past two days except for Feldman. Don’t you need a little pitching experience. Can you be rebuilding when you trade everybody all the time?

  8. Brandon

    Not to get off the subject, but who starts tonight? Villanueva or did they call somebody up? Just wondering.

    1. DarthHater

      Rusin. Or Raley. I can never keep those two straight. :-P

    2. Jono

      Rusin. He’s been having a nice little season so far

    3. Jono

      Oops, didn’t refresh fast enough to see your question already answered

  9. nkniacc13


  10. nkniacc13

    Luke So who gets moved off the Iowa rotation assuming that Rusin is just up for this start. You have Rusin, Raley, Struck, Arretia, Loux and Moscoso?

    1. Luke

      I think Raley’s stuff works better in relieve, so my vote would be there.

      But I think Moscoso is about as likely.

  11. tom

    cubs not signing any USA players, all international ????

    1. TonyP

      The International signing period opened today. The draft for US players was last month….

    2. TWC

      Hey, tom, it’s been a while since you stopped by with your nativist crap. It hasn’t been missed, you jagload.

      1. TonyP

        Lol, I didn’t know the history with Tom…..

        1. TWC

          Any time the Cubs make a move with a brown- or black-skinned, foreign-born player, he chimes in with his concern about the poor ‘Merican players who are being left behind.

          1. DarthHater

            Sure, TWC. Go right on defending the excrementitious foreign hordes, crawling with lice, who are befouling our god-given national pastime. :-P

            1. Timmy

              i have to say that i resent being grouped together with tom as a troller. you guys either can’t differentiate or you really don’t care about the difference between taking a stand against bad ownership and xenophobia.

              1. DarthHater

                I never associated you with that wacko. I think you’re a harmless, if moderately annoying, paranoiac, but not a pathological sociopath. BTW, I also never called you a troll. Friends now?

                1. Timmy

                  that’s a pretty sophisticated psychoanalysis for a guy who posts photos of southpark to baseball blogs 14 hours a day.

                  1. DarthHater

                    Yea, I also hold down a full-time job – and it’s actually a pretty challenging job. It’s called multi-tasking. I suspect you do it, too.

                    1. Timmy

                      the important thing is that you now agree with me and that i persuaded you. so you are forgiven.

                    2. DarthHater


                  2. Jp3

                    So if darth posts South Park pics all day maybe he has one where the aliens take everyone’s jobs and everyone runs around saying,”THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!!!!”

              2. Hansman1982

                BREAKING NEWS: Timmy not as dumb as we thought.

      2. tom

        Bite Me You <.?!3$%#

        1. TWC


        2. DarthHater

          Geez, looks like your keyboard broke, Tom. Probably manufactured in China.

          1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Them some yellow skinned brethren. He doesn’t buy unless it says ‘Merica. Tom just needs to change his name to ‘Merica made and we can all laugh twice when he posts.

  12. Rich

    where is all the money coming from ? are these bonuses up front..or over time ?

    1. mak


  13. Kramden

    Garza …. Just a strong hunch he’s traded to Texas. No clue where Gregg winds up.

  14. Sanchez

    Rusin Pitching In Feldman’s Place , Hope He Dominate’s

  15. bryan

    I say trade brett Jackson for some IFA money as welll

  16. Coop

    Signing Gleyber Torres is sure to be a wake up call for Starlin! Better start packing your bags!

    - love, Die Hard

    1. waittilthisyear


    2. TWC


  17. B_Scwared

    I believe you can go over by your spending amount by 5% or so, right? If so, is it off of the original amount or the amount post gaining pool dollars via trade? That would get them in the ball park for Jimenez, but they would still need another move.

  18. Bender 13

    Last year was the first time that I paid any real attention to international signings, and I now understand that Soler was an unusual case, coming to the minors so quickly after being signed. Would you say that its wise, as fans, just to forget about these guys at least until they make it to Boise?

    1. Kyle

      Most of them can’t play in any sort of organized team until 2014. They’ll report to the Cubs academy and start going through the equivalent of a very long spring training.

      Then in 2014, as 17-year-olds, they’ll play in the Dominican Summer League.

      In 2015, as 18-year-olds, they’ll be at a crossroads. A few of them will be promoted to America, where they will participate in extended spring training in Mesa and perhaps play in the Arizona Rookie League. Most of them will repeat the DSL and get to America the next year.

      2016 Boise would be the earliest possible for most of them, with very rare exceptions.

      Yeah, it wouldn’t hurt to just forget about them until they at least make it over to America. Our biggest signing bonus guy in 2011 is still struggling while repeating the DSL. But we’ve got some other guys from that class who had much smaller signing bonuses that now look like better prospects.

      1. The Dude Abides

        To your point let’s wait on one to get to AA ball before we start rambling on for days of what the future holds for these guys, 16 – 18 yrs. olds suddenly hits the jackpot.

        Although no idea of how much of the money they actually get their hands on with all the advisors, relatives, coaches, etc. who are involved with them to one degree or another? Have read articles about some of these coaches and advisors that make AAU basketball coaches look like Mother Theresa.

        Good luck to them all, not my money the more the merrier.

  19. Kubphan82

    Can I pretend this is who we traded Torreyes for and can now compare them years down the road? ;)

  20. Nick

    Sorry if this has already been posted but I’m curious about our Dominican and Venezuela league teams. Do all of the players in these leagues come from this signing period or are many picked up as non prospects to fill out rosters and the guys we are reading about are just the headliners? Wonder what Castro signed for back in the day?

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