The Chicago Cubs continue to go nutty – in a good way – in the international free agent market, which just opened up to a new period yesterday. After already signing top Venezuelan prospect Gleyber Torres, big-time Colombian pitcher Erling Moreno, and big-time Dominican pitcher Jefferson Mejia, the Cubs have added another prospect: Dominican catcher Johan Matos, according to Jesse Sanchez.
Although the presumably teenage catcher was not ranked on BA’s or MLB.com’s top 30 list – and details are scant right now – the Cubs must have liked him, because he’s getting $270,000 to sign, per Sanchez. That’s a healthy amount in this market, and raises some interesting questions about how the Cubs plan to proceed.
After signing Torres, Moreno, and Mejia for $3.35 million, and after netting $963,000 extra to their $4,557,200 bonus pool yesterday via trades, the Cubs had about $2,446,210 left to spend, after considering the 5% they can go over without incurring dramatic penalties. With Matos getting $270,000, the Cubs are down to approximately $2,176,210, give or take a few bucks.
The question: is that enough to sign top prospect Eloy Jimenez, who has reportedly decided to sign with the Cubs, but who also reportedly expecting a bonus in the $2.5 to $2.7 million range?
If not, will the Cubs risk those penalties – which includes a drastic limitation on the amount you can spend for individual signing bonuses the next year (i.e., you still get your, say, $3 million pool, but the max you can spend on any one player is $500,000) – or will they trade quickly for more pool space? If it’s the latter, will the other team rake the Cubs over the coals, knowing that they really need the space? Or have the Cubs already planned for that?
And, if the Cubs do need to add pool space, how will we feel about the $210,000 in space the Cubs gave to the Dodgers in the Carlos Marmol trade?
Lastly, if the Cubs do manage to land Jimenez after all these other big signings, will we call them the Dodgers of Latin America? (SIGN ALL THE INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTS.)