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venezuelaAnother top international prospect is in the fold.

Just moments after we learned that Dominican pitcher Jefferson Mejia had signed with the Chicago Cubs for $850,000, Jesse Sanchez reports that the Cubs will get the Venezuelan shortstop they’ve been attached to for quite some time.

That shortstop is 16-year-old Gleyber Torres, and he reportedly gets $1.7 million, which will prove to be one of the larger bonuses this year in all of baseball. That’s what you’d expect, given that Torres is the second best international prospect to Baseball America, and the third best prospect to MLB.com. In part, MLB.com’s evaluation reads:

Gleyber does everything well. He has a smooth compact swing and the ball jumps off his bat. Scouts like that he can spray the ball all over the field with power and believe he has a chance to be a special hitter.

A solid defender, Torres has excellent hands, great feet and he’s known to have an accurate arm with above-average strength. He’s impressed scouts with his ability to make all of the routine plays and an occasional great play. He is particularly adept on his glove-hand side and continues to show improvement on all-around defense.

Torres is described by most as fundamentally sound, which isn’t always common among prospects out of Venezuela or the Dominican Republic. It’ll be a long time before we see him in action, but the Cubs are clearly taking some big, big swings this time around in the international market. No sense in sitting on the available money, eh?

With Mejia and Torres signed, the Cubs have used $2.55 million of their available $4,557,200 bonus pool. Top prospect Eloy Jimenez is expected to command something around $2.5 to $2.7 million, so, unless the Cubs plan to go over their pool limit and pay the penalties (which includes losing the ability to sign big-timers next year, if you go too far over), they’ll have to trade for additional pool space. For that reason – and because of rumors going around about the timing – I wouldn’t expect to hear about Jimenez signing today.

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  • http://totalsportsblog.com GeorgeHermanLahair

    Brett-
    At what age do players not count against the pool? Was it 25?

    • X the Cubs fan

      23 I think

  • Josho

    Just from the sounds of it. All 5 tools having the potential ability of being average or better, could eventually be like a profar-lite. I am not saying he is or will, but that’s the very tip top of it for him. That just what it sounds like to me. Again, I’m not saying he is, or will be like Profar.

    • SenorGato

      His scouting reports read to me a little like Castro. G’luck to him becoming a PROSPECT as good as either Castro or Profar.

      • Josho

        Castro and Profar’s scouting reports seemed similar to each other, really. both run well, could be great fielders, strong arms, high average, potential for power down the line. Hopefully he turns into a good prospect…

        • Cyranojoe

          Didn’t Castro’s scouting reports mention he could get a little distracted in the field?

          • Josho

            Yeah, but he has the potential to be a great fielder. Soft hands, strong arm, great range. Everything you look for, except his concentration…

  • nkniacc13

    kinda surprised at how quiet the dodgers have been today. I thought they sign all the players. Time to get a bit more international $ and get a couple more players signed

    • ssckelley

      The Dodgers will not be making to much of a noise today as they do not have all that much to spend. They will be more of a player for the ones that are free agents and do not count against the international pool dollars.

  • Spencer

    So how many players is it expected for each team, on average, to sign? I suppose to a large degree it depends on the quality of each player that is signed, but should we expect to see some teams signing 5-6 guys for less money, or, like the Cubs may try to do, sign just 2-3 guys for large bonuses?

    • Kyle

      Most teams will sign a ton, but a lot will be small enough to not warrant being reported.

      In the past, we’ve signed like 5-10 guys with big enough signing bonuses to be reported.

    • ssckelley

      The Cubs are fielding teams in both the Venezuelan and Dominican summer leagues so they will need to sign enough players to fill both rosters. But as Kyle mentioned most will not be notable enough to even be reported. We will probably only hear about the ones who require a signing bonus that counts against the pool money.

  • SenorGato

    Already said it but as 16 year olds go, I like him. The whole “fundamentally sound” thing is different from most top IFA prospects obviously, and I like the idea of a spray approach to hitting if that’s what he does. Venezuela has also been an area the Cubs rarely, if ever, make noise in despite the big league talent that’s come out.

    I wonder if they’d do something weird with him like try him at catcher.

    Speaking of countries the Cubs rarely get to…Anyone from Brazil worth talking about this year?

  • RizzoCastro

    Would be nice to see the Cubs get Luis Encarnacion a 3B and maybe the best pure right-hand hitter in this class. Raw power, good glove, and very good arm. He is ranked 12th by the MLB rankings, but I think he very well may be the best hitter in this group. IMO

    • SenorGato

      Hes ranked 12th by BA, who I will concede to on IFAs over the MLB.com stuff.

      • SenorGato

        Wow, 4th by BA.

        • RizzoCastro

          ?

          • SenorGato

            Replace 12th with 4th for BA

            • RizzoCastro

              Ok… Yeah that I would like to see the Cubs get him.

  • SenorGato

    Question for anyone with a memory:

    One of the 2011 guys, cant remember which one, is the only other Venezuelan bonus baby for the Cubs in recent memory, no? There isn’t anyone else?

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      Mark Malave was the guy signed in 2011 out of Venezuela. According to the list kept at NSBB.com, he is the only other Venezuelan the Cubs have signed for over a million since 2006 (and I would assume ever given the time frame). Wilson Conteras is the next closest with an 850K bonus in 2009.

      • SenorGato

        Good to see them foraging ahead in Venezuela.

        Funny that both previous Venezuelans were catchers, though Malave is seeing a lot of 3B IIRC.

      • SenorGato

        Oh and thanks for that. I think its interesting the type of players a country puts out. Venezuelan players, IIRC, have always been more willing to walk than their DR counterparts. DR players always strike me as exceptionally raw even for young IFAs. I should like…actually research this somehow. I’m sure real FOs have.

  • BleedCubbieBlue

    Any word on Kris Bryant?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Nope.

      But there remains nothing to worry about. It will go into the final few days, but everyone expects him to sign.

  • X the Cubs fan

    We have 10 days to sign him and the Cubs will sign him.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Already landed some high-upside signings, quality middle IF and intriguing arm. IMO – if they add Eloy to this list, the 2014 IFA period can be considered a solid success in the short-term. Obviously we won’t truly know until ~2018 or so…

    • X the Cubs fan

      We would know in only a few years if we did good so far.

      • Mr. Gonzo

        Of course, just stating that the impact potential the Cubs are landing today is intriguing on paper.

  • North Side Irish

    Jesse Sanchez ‏@JesseSanchezMLB 2m
    #Cubs are meeting with reps for RHP Erling Moreno (COL), #17 on @MLB’s Top 30 list today & could come to an agreement http://atmlb.com/10DO8al

    Was expected…

    • nkniacc13

      that means if they do they are either out on Eloy, or they are getting more pool $

      • Josho

        I think they’re getting him and getting more pool money. This Clevenger deal is making me curious. Also, Dodgers not doing much yet either and Marmol probably heading there. May get some IFA money from them.

      • North Side Irish

        Widely expected that the Cubs will be acquiring more pool money. I wouldn’t be surprised if we probably don’t hear about Jiminez signing anywhere for a few days.

      • Kyle

        Or we’re blowing the limit and taking the penalties, as a third possibility.

    • college_of_coaches

      Interesting! When was the last time the Cubs signed anyone out of Colombia?

      • SenorGato

        Never, at least that I can remember.

        I saw some.video of this kid. Long limbs and a pretty prototypical frame. Don’t remember his height, but physically he had a frame to dream on. That’s something going for him.

  • X the Cubs fan

    Where’s Frandy De La Rosa?

    • SenorGato

      AZL, I think.

  • Will

    Brett,

    I just read that the Rangers have signed a 3rd international prospect. Their pool money was just over 1.9M and have committed to pay 4.4M to these 3 players in the 1st day. I also read that they have acquired additional money through the Marlins, but in total can only increase their spending by 50% of their total (or just under 3M). What are the penalties for going over? Are the Rangers testing the patience of MLB and their new prospect rules? What is stopping the Cubs from doing the same?

    • Kyle

      The primary penalty for going over is that they cannot sign anyone next year for more than $250k.

  • JoeyCollins

    Feldman and Cleveger to the Orioles per K Law

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Woah.

    • Cedlandrum

      for Arietta, intl cash and Strop

    • KidCubbie

      For serious? With all the crazy trade proposals going around i cant tell if this is true and i cant get twitter here at work.

    • Eric

      awesome, first domino falls. This is my absolute favorite time. The time inbetween a reliable source and waiting for brett and sites like PSD to tell me about the players we get back because I know nothing about them.

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