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taiwan flagOn Monday, Jesse Sanchez reported that Taiwanese pitching prospect Jen-Ho Tseng was garnering a great deal of attention on the international market, and that the Chicago Cubs had emerged as a favorite to sign the 18-year-old righty. In that piece, I wrote about the Cubs’ international spending this year, and about how signing Tseng could be the final signal that the Cubs intend to blow far past their international bonus pool, regardless of whether they add the maximum additional pool space that they can under the rules (50%).

Today, Sanchez reports that the Cubs are now “closing in” on signing Tseng to a deal that would give him a bonus “just north” of $1.5 million.

You can read more about Tseng in the piece from Monday and in Sanchez’s report, but I’d like to focus on the financial side of things. As I wrote on Monday:

So long as the Cubs do not exceed their spending pool by more than 15%, they will not face the most serious penalty: a 100% tax on the overage plus the inability to sign anyone next year for more than $250,000. Instead, the penalty – if you fall within the 10% to 15% overage range – is a 100% tax on the overage plus the inability to sign anyone next year for more than $500,000. With the Cubs expected to have a large pool again next year, that is a much more manageable penalty (but would still leave the Cubs with the intriguing optional approach of trading away pool space for players/prospects).

Where, then, do things stand assuming the Cubs ink all of the deals that have been reported?

Eloy Jimenez – $2.8 million

Gleyber Torres – $1.7 million

Jen-Ho Tseng – $1.5 million

Jefferson Mejia – $850,000

Erling Moreno – $800,000

Yohan Matos – $270,000

That’s a total of $7,920,000. The Cubs’ pool currently stands at $5,520,200 after considering the trades they’ve already made to add pool space. Per the CBA, the Cubs can add up to 50% to their original bonus pool ($4,557,200), which means they can increase their pool to a maximum of $6,835,800. A 14.999% overage yields a total of just $7,861,100.

In other words, if all of the signings go down as they have been reported, and if the Cubs give Tseng $1.5 million, they’ll fall into the most severe penalty range even if they add the full 50% increase.

Now, we have to make some adjustments to those numbers. First, we’ve got to give Tseng something “just north” of $1.5 million. Is that $1.55 million? $1.75 million? Obviously we can’t be sure until a deal is announced, but let’s go with $1.6 million for the purposes of this exercise – as you’ll see, slight moves in his bonus can make a huge difference.

We also have to adjust Erling Moreno’s figure. Although it was originally reported by all involved as $800,000, Sanchez reports that the actual figure he signed for is just $650,000.

So, let’s do the financial exercise again with the adjusted figures (remember, these deals aren’t necessarily finalized):

Eloy Jimenez – $2.8 million

Gleyber Torres – $1.7 million

Jen-Ho Tseng – $1.6 million

Jefferson Mejia – $850,000

Erling Moreno – $650,000

Yohan Matos – $270,000

That’s a total of $7,870,00. As discussed above, the Cubs can increase their bonus pool to a maximum of $6,835,800. A 14.999% overage yields a total of $7,861,100.

Wow. That’s close. Understanding that I was merely ballparking that Tseng figure, I’m now wondering whether the closeness of these figures is not a coincidence, and the Cubs will try to get Tseng for $1.59 million or less, which would keep them under that most severe penalty threshold.

That all said, remember: the Cubs still have to trade for $1,315,600 in pool space for any of this to matter. If they don’t, they’ll be way over the 15% overage, and will face the stiffest penalty (something, as I’ve discussed, I’m not so sure they’re all that opposed to).

Further, the Cubs can’t trade for any additional space if they’ve already blown their pool. That’s why, for example, we continue to wait on Jimenez’s deal being finalized. The Cubs are wisely leaving open the possibility that they could get everything done that they want and remain under the stiffest penalty threshold.

Regardless of how the financial side plays out, because I am not terribly worried about the penalties involved, this is all going to be one big good story. These are youngsters that likely won’t become relevant in the prospect game for several years (to say nothing of when or if they could ever actually contribute to the Cubs), but the Cubs are loading up on a bunch of talented players. And they’re spending a lot of money to do it. This, folks, is all very good news.

  • KidCubbie

    Hopefully the Cubs goal is to just trade their pool money next year on a few prospects from other teams. Therefore they just bypass the International Draft and still collect a few prospects.

  • mak

    If this was the Cubs plan all along, why not trade all of their slots away for prospects? And why trade Torreyes? Can they still trade their slots (although they might not be worth anything with the best players signed?)?

    • JeffR
      • mak

        I don’t think that really addresses my question. I get that the Cubs can decide to tank this years limits and then trade next year’s slots for prospects. My question is: why didn’t they just trade THIS YEARS slots away for prospects if they were going to blow the budget rules.

        Now, the more I think about it, maybe one reason is that, by giving teams their huge slots, they’d be creating challengers in the markets for the big prospects — so they are saving some real dollars in the regard that they won’t have to outbid a team whom they’ve dealt the slots too. Does any of this make sense?

        • bbmoney

          It would also cost them a lot in 100% penalties….basically making everyone cost twice as much as they signed them for.

          But your reason is huge too.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            combine both reasons together and we get just a taste of the genius of our front office

            • Matthew Nomad

              SIGN ALL THE IFA’S!!!!

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Bingo on your assumption plus any money they can save in one less tax dollar they will have to spend. So $1 becomes $2 in savings- if the budget is $10 and they spend $20 they will have to pay an addtional $10 in taxes (essential now its $30 spend) but if they can trade for $5 dollars then they only have to pay $5 dollars in tax (now its $25 vs $30) multiply everything into the 100K and you see where trading for pool money makes sense.

    • Rebuilding

      It could be that a) some guys became available after the trade that they weren’t expecting or b) since they will be paying the penalty that $800,000 is like actual cash.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      any slot money saves them money since if they hit the severe overage they pay a 100% tax meaning if they are 500K over they will be paying 1M. Plus Torreyes wasn’t going to get a player return of value and therefore pool money has more value.

      • mak

        The “actual dollars” argument is probably a significant reason.

        • JeffR

          If I remember correctly that article explains the actual dollars argument.

    • cms0101

      I don’t think this was the plan all along. Otherwise it doesn’t make a ton of sense to acquire the pool money from Houston and Baltimore. Something changed and they adapted. Maybe they weren’t counting on Tseng and he surprised them. Maybe they realized midway through that they wouldn’t be able to acquire the pool space they needed and just decided to move forward with this class. Their actions do not clearly say this was the plan all along. They will only be able to trade slots that aren’t account for with what they’ve spent thus far, officially. And we don’t really know what deals are “official” and what deals aren’t, so it’s hard to figure out how much money is actually left.

      • mak

        All of these are pieces of the puzzle for sure. I guess its best not question the genius that is Theo. I guess I just hope we aren’t left on the sidelines next year when the next Sano sprouts up.

  • JeffR

    Based on what I’ve read Tseng doesn’t seem like he is quite as far away as some of the others. In that I mean 3-4 years as opposed to 5 or 6.

    • bleeds cubbie blue

      That’s my opinion as well, fully expect to see him atleast pitching in AZ rookie league next season

      • Scotti

        Asian players typically start in Boise.

  • bbmoney

    Sign all the international players.

    Then trade all our international player slot space in 2014 and just sign a bunch of cheap guys.

    Then repeat.

    • MichiganGoat

      This is the only year that this can happen, next year there is a nasty poison pill if you go way over (its all in Brett’s article) and I expect an Amateur International Draft will be here in 2015 (thats what the pill is suppose to force teams toward). So again this is Theo seeing a market inefficiency and jumping on the last opportunity to sign as many players as he wants without stiff penalties. It really is a genius move.

      • mak

        I must have missed the part about next year’s penalties being steeper. Again, another piece of the puzzle.

        • hansman1982

          I don’t know specifically but the penalties will be in the draft which immediately makes them more severe when you can’t just sign whomever.

          It should make for quite the seller’s haven next year and it will be fun to see that break down.

          I would also love to see what this FO would do if they got rid of the amateur draft and went with strict Amateur FA.

          • MichiganGoat
          • BluBlud

            It would be good for the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and a few others, but MLB baseball would be so top heavy that it would really make it difficult to watch. I think the Draft is needed, but I don’t like splitting the drafts. I think there should be 1 draft, 60 rounds. All players from everywhere would be going up against each other, and there would be no competitive advantage. Also, I like the slot idea, but it should be just like the NBA. In the NBA draft, you already know what your salary will be when you are drafted, because each spot in the first round has value assigned to it, and a player can’t negotiate up, and a team can’t negotiate down. #1 pick 7 million, #2 pick, 6.5, #3 6.0, and so on.

            • hansman1982

              The difficult comparison with the Baseball draft and the other sports is that with baseball, you can be drafted and still go to school the next year. So you need the flexibility to offer more/less so that you can intice some kids to sign and then save money on the others.

              It would greatly change the dynamic of the draft, though.

              I do agree that an AFA situation would be impossible. You’d have kids like Strasburg commanding $50M+ contracts which might be impossible for the smaller market teams to afford.

              • BluBlud

                Hansman, I think the part about returning to school should be changed also. It should be like basketball and football. Once you enter the draft, you no longer have eligibility. That more of a NCAA thing, then a MLB team. I don’t understand how the NCAA can justify allow a player drafted in baseball to keep his eligibility, but not a player in basketball or football. Also a baseball player can have an “advisor”, but the moment that a football or basketball player does it, he is no longer eligible. Once yopu are drafted, that team should own your rights, and once they own your rights, if you ever want play in the league, you should be force to sign with that team, or they should have the right to trade your rights to another team so they can still gain something.

                • hansman1982

                  I think the system now is a decent balance between the young players being protected (option to go back to school if they don’t get the money they want) and teams getting control over high-risk guys.

                  I think an IFA style cap would make the American amateur side very intriguing. It wouldn’t do much to the teams that don’t want to spend and to the teams that do want to spend, more power to them.

                  • BluBlud

                    I guess I’m more torn on the NCAA allowing something in one sport and not the others versus teams being protected from guys going back to college because they don’t wanna play for Team X, or because they think they are worth more money then where they are drafted.

                    Football just recently add slot values in there draft a few years back, and it hardly even got noticed. No more 60 million dollar deals for College kids who never played a game. No more Jamarcus Russell. Cam Newton when #1 in the first draft under the new format and he got 24 million. baseball has done the same thing, but they need to make it non-negotiable.

                    Also, if a player wants the option of returning to school, then fine. When he is then ready to play MLB, that team should still own his rights. Sorta like the NBA does when a international player is drafted. He can stay overseas, but when he decides to come to the NBA, that team still owns his rights, even if it has been 10 years. The rights are for life in the NBA until a contract is signed.

                    • hansman1982

                      No team is going to want their players playing for another team that has 0 interest in his long-term development. Ergo, they won’t draft kids who want to go to school and they can’t persuade them otherwise (without throwing lots of money around)

                    • On The Farm

                      “Also, if a player wants the option of returning to school, then fine. When he is then ready to play MLB, that team should still own his rights”

                      Again you are only looking at this from a team perspective. What value could a player have returning to school if one team owns his rights to sign him and no one else can. Also, look at how many rounds there are in football and basketball. What you are asking for seems outrageous. The % of making in the MLB are way lower than the NFL or NBA. No other sport is a draft considered a victory if you score on less than 10% (3 players) of your selected players.

                • ssckelley

                  I think the NCAA stays out of it because in baseball you do not have to declare for the draft whereas in the NFL and NBA you have to.

                  • hansman1982

                    That’s a part of it, in theory, I could be selected for the draft (psst, Theo, if you ever need an ultra low 1st round signee, call me)

                • On The Farm

                  Seems like you are only looking at this from a team perspective. Think if you were a top high school talent, projected to go anywhere from rounds 3-5. However, there are some questions about your ability to hit a professional breaking ball and you fall into the 11th+ round where slots no longer exist and you get what you are offered. Is it fair that if you truly think you are a top 5 round talent that you can no longer go to college because you were drafted in the 11th round.

                  Lets say you do go to college improve your draft stock, but still only go in the 8th round, but you want at least 3 round money because you want $1 million bucks, what’s the harm in having an agent working for you to help you get what you want? If players with the “return to school” card couldn’t be advised by agents, they could (and probably would) be taken advantage by teams and that doesn’t seem very fair to players either.

                  • BluBlud

                    In the NBA, CJ Leslie from my N.C. State Wolfpack, thought he was a first round pick so he left after his junior year. Well, he didn’t get drafted. So why is it that he can’t return to school to improve his stock? Lorenzo Brown, also from N.C. State, thought he was a 1st round pick, got picked in the 2nd round. Why can’t he go back to school and try to improve his stock?

                    You have to make a decision and then live with it.

                    Also, baseball needs to kill that rule. You should not be allowed to draft a player who has not declared for a draft. That should be illegal. That’s another rule that needs to be changed.

                    • hansman1982

                      Then you’d create an incredibly top heavy draft as anyone who was worried about slipping past the 10th round would want to go to school.

                      It isn’t the NCAA that is doing this, it’s MLB being smart enough to not require kids to declare for the draft. If the NBA and NFL didn’t require kids to declare, the NCAA couldn’t do much because they wouldn’t be “signing up” for a professional league.

                    • On The Farm

                      “You have to make a decision and then live with it. ”

                      I would love for you to have a son, or someone you know get drafted who thought they were a top 10 round talent and getting paid a couple hundred thousand and then get drafted and end up with a couple ten thousand and then the MLB looking you dead in the face and say “You made a decision to enter the draft, this is where you got pick this is what you get paid, live with it.”

                      At that moment you might think to yourself, gosh I sure wish my kid could go to college and prove you wrong and earn his million dollar contract rather than just dealing with it. Boy I sure love how the MLB really sticks it to guys after the 10th round!

            • ssckelley

              Blublud, you need to step back a minute and see the whole picture of what having a single amateur draft would do to the sport. Baseball is unique and has done something very special for countries like Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Lets face it, baseball is not “America’s Pastime” like it was in the past, our talented youth have to decide between other major sports and lets be honest baseball lags behind basketball and football. Why do you think there are no NBA or NFL academies in these countries? Baseball teams recognized a long time ago that talent could be tapped in these smaller countries. When a kid signs for 2.8 million it does not just impact that kid and his family but also whoever trained him. The Cubs spent huge money on a lovely baseball academy in the Dominican, teams would not do that if everyone was lumped into one huge amateur draft. Look at any MLB roster and you will see it peppered with guys from countries like the Dominican but check a NFL or NBA roster and see how many players they have from the Dominican. The reason for that is because MLB is spending the money developing the talent over there.

          • mak

            Wild — so part of the plan is knowing how in demand the slot money will be next year. Even if the talent pool is good (which I maintain that its not quite possible to determine that yet), the Cubs are simply betting that this year is better and teams will be in a frenzy in 2014 with the draft all but guaranteed for 2015. The more layers you peel back on this, the more genius it is.

            • BluBlud

              Yeah, look at it this way, if 800,000 cost us Torreyes, imagine what we can get for our highest slot. I’m not sure if the value would go up all that much, but we at least know we can get a player back with slighly more value then Torreyes.

              So we win this year with the youngsters, and when next year with talent closer to MLB ready by trading our slots. This is more then Genius by the FO.

              • davidalanu

                St. Louis traded Boggs for 260k in ifa slot money. He was a beast for them last year, but God awful this year. Think of him as Strop. And he’s only worth a third of what the Cubs got for Torreyes? I think those ifa$ are hard to pin down at this point as to their value.

      • bbmoney

        missed that. Thanks.

      • ssckelley

        Didn’t I read somewhere that Tampa Bay gambled on this last year and lost?

        Also, say everything remains the same what are the penalties if the Cubs ignore the spending restrictions and sign players over 250 or 500K? Are they subject to a “luxary” tax for any amount they sign a player beyond those amounts? If this is the case then what the FO is doing is brilliant. Buying these international players is like buying raffle tickets, the Cubs have money so who cares how much they cost? The more you buy the better chance you have in winning.

        • BluBlud

          I’m sure if they tried to sign a player that MLB would deny the contract. The league has that right, and I’m sure they wouldn’t allow it.

          • ssckelley

            That thought popped into my mind also when I was asking that question. But if MLB has the right to simply refuse a contract then why are they not doing that instead of imposing all these penalties?

            • BluBlud

              Because the team currently has the option, so sign a player over your slot amount is not against the rules, it’s just that there is a tax associated with it, in both dollar value and signing penalties(if that what we can call it). It the league then places that penalty on you, and you attemp to sign a player over the amount, you are now attemping to do something illegal, and at that point, they have the right to deny it.

              I not sure if this is how it works, it’s just my opinion.

  • Peter

    Good to see they are spending money in the right places, of course it would be awesome if they signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, but there is probably a 95% chance they don’t. Would be exciting to have a free agent and a exciting foreign player we can see now.

  • cubchymyst

    I think if the Cubs plan on going over the 10% pool amount they might as well go over the 15% and just go crazy. What we are seeing is that basically all of the top people are signing for greater than 500K which is the limit once they past 10%. To some one more familiar with the international signings how much of a difference does a 500K limit vs 250K limit next year make for signing players make?

    • JeffR

      I would think it wouldn’t necessarily get them higher rated prospects, it might get them more prospects of the same caliber. Making it more likely that they end up getting major league talent.

  • rbreeze

    Brett, you and Luke do a great job keeping us informed. Thank you!
    If we hold onto Garza or not, the way Bosio works with pitchers I think if we can get a hitter and two quality relief pitchers next year (free agency?) then this team can be .500 or better. We are still prone to some bad errors (Castro/Borbon) that kill us and a bad inning of relief but the FO seems to be able to put a decent team ont he field. Throw in a kid or two each year from the farm system and we have a winning formula going into the future. I say spend if the International talent warrants it. Pay the penalties. You are stock piling talent in the minors for the major league team and / or for trades to get the pieces you need to contend every year. if this is a quality year on the international front then pay the penalties.

    • mak

      Seconded, Brett. This site (among many other topics) has been the source for this issue/strategy (even Jonah Keri agrees). Thanks for the thoughtful coverage.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Appreciate that, gents.

  • Le Cubs

    Haven’t heard much about him. If

    • Le Cubs

      Damnit my bad guys! Back to what I was trying to say in that I haven’t heard much about him but if anyone has any links to any good scouting reports it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Ken Rosenthal- AL exec: “Yanks aggressively pushing Joba, Hughes. Joba could happen soon to NL team.” My guess is if the Yankees trade 1 or both that they go to the Giants. Kind of sucks that Hughes is being shopped. Takes another team off the market for Garza potentially. They are in a completely different class of pitcher but still takes another potential team off the market

  • Jono

    Just to make a general point, I love that the Cubs front office actually thinks about the future. It’s so refreshing. All those Cubs fans out there who only look at the big league record are missing such a great time in Cubs fandom

  • http://Bill Bill

    If the International Draft goes into effect next year, I have read that the penalties go away as far as signing international players. Maybe the Cubs think the International Draft will go into effect next year.

    • MichiganGoat

      Its not see here http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/05/31/its-official-no-international-draft-for-2014-and-increased-spending-penalties/ but I expect it will be in place for 2015. What the Cubs are doing this year is basically taking them out of the game next year- where penalties are harsh and other teams are going to want more pool space which we can trade since we can only spend 250K per player.

      • Jono

        buy low, sell high. International slot money is less valuable this year when they’re buying. It will be more valuable next year when they’re selling. This might be the best front office in baseball

  • JulioZuleta

    I don’t think the cost of acquiring $1.3M in cap space is worth the difference of being able to sign guys for $500K rather than $250K. (Of course, trading for that much would also save $1.3M in actual cash due to the taxes but it doesn’t seem like that would be a huge concern.)

  • BD

    I’m hoping they just blow past the 15%, and sign a couple more of the unsigned top 10 players.

  • Believe in 2015

    Hey Brett or Luke,

    I’m no expert when it comes to trade talks so I was hoping you could clarify something for me. Lets say the Cubs are talking to the Indians about Garza. They offer Bauer and a few smaller pieces to the deal. Can the Cubs in turn go to say the Red Sox and tell them what the Indians are offering? The leverage the cubs could have would be insane, however I’m sure that the Indians would like their deal keeper private.

  • Believe in 2015

    Hey Brett or Luke,

    I’m no expert when it comes to trade talks so I was hoping you could clarify something for me. Lets say the Cubs are talking to the Indians about Garza. They offer Bauer and a few smaller pieces to the deal. Can the Cubs in turn go to say the Red Sox and tell them what the Indians are offering? The leverage the cubs could have would be insane, however I’m sure that the Indians would like their deal kept private.

    • BluBlud

      No, teams do this all the time, and in all sports. They leverage one team against the other and force the best package that they can. They’ll go back and forth as many times as they can until one of the teams concede. This is very typical.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just depends on the relationships involved, and how well you trust your colleagues. I don’t know that there’s actually a hard-and-fast answer here. Cubs are incentivized to share good offers, but disincentivized to share weaker offers – so, if they only ever share good ones, specifically, and then are vague when talking to you about an offer they’ve received, well, you’d know it’s a weak offer. Lotta factors involved here, and it’s probably very case-by-case.

      • Believe in 2015

        Thanks Brett and Blublud

      • MichiganGoat

        Plus you have the whole relationship issue with other FO if the Cubs continually play one team against another that relationship and trust is jeopardized and might bite you latter. It’s a slippery slope and I’m sure Theo is very aware of how to maintain relationships and not burn bridges while still maximizing value.

    • wvcubsfan

      The other thing that plays into this a little bit is a multiple team trade. Where the Indians only really want to give up players X, Y, and Z for player A. The Cubs like player Z and know that the Twins really like players X and Y. So they get on the phone with the Twins about trading those players for Player N.

  • Bric

    All these international signings are just window dressing to add depth to the organization. None of these kids are even going to be talked about at Wrigley for 3-4 years, if at all. Kris Bryant needs to be signed immediately. He has the potential for a September 2014 call up if he’ll sign and get on the Boise Hawks roster before the All Star break. Seriously- what’s the hold up?

  • Kubphan82

    Tseng is being paid in Won…
    Torres in Bolívar…
    Moreno in Colombian Peso…
    Jimenez in Dominican Peso…

    Kind of changes the our financial situation ;)

    • Jono

      the currency trades for many of those countries are looking very favorable to the Cubs

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett,

    It seems after this Tseng signing they will go into max penalty range. Any chance we sign IFA luis encarnacion (great right handed hitting IFA) and say screw it, we’re already in the max penalty range, might as well sign luis encarnacion too since the kids a stud and still unsigned (he’s unsigned because he’s not 16 yet)?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes. It’s possible – that’s the theory behind blowing the budget this year.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        I wonder if they miscalculated, otherwise, why give up Roni Torreyes if they were over the limit regardless?

        • JulioZuleta

          Because they thought Roni Torreyes was worth selling for $800K, which is what they saved in taxes.

          • SenorGato

            Also, he had no other purpose here.

          • Kyle

            If he was worth an $800k slot, then he was worth more than $800k in cash, because the slots are worth more than their nominal value. It’s still wasteful to use the slots for cash purposes.

            It seems very likely that they misread the market for IFA pool money and weren’t able to acquire as much as they hoped, so they changed course mid-stream and are going to blow the limits. Good for them for being flexible.

            • MichiganGoat

              In a sense they traded him for 1.6M (800k to sign 800k in tax savings) thats not a bad deal.

              • bbmoney

                I don’t think it works like that. Or won’t end up working like that since they’re blowing their slot (apparently) anyway.

              • bbmoney

                but I’ll add that just because the Astro’s thought he was worth that much in slot doesn’t mean the Cubs necessarily thought he wasn’t worth that much, to the Cubs organization at least, in cash.

                Who knows what the FO was thinking. Clearly they could have misjudged the market, or they just didn’t value Torreyes very highly compared to the Astros.

                • MichiganGoat

                  They need to open up a spot (Baez) and he wasn’t progressing the way the FO wanted, and since they are going over the IFA budget and most likely will being paying a 100% tax on the overage, Torreyes just gave them another 800k to sign with before the tax kicks in… hence the 1.6M savings.

                  • Kyle

                    Try the math again.

                    If we’re blowing the budget anyway, then he’s only saving us $800k. We’re spending the first $800k regardless.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      This is correct. It’s about converting $800k of “space” into $800k of real cash. The front office, according to me, anyway, believes that, given what they know of Torreyes and the positional glut, it was a good deal to sell him for $800k in cash (plus the possibility that the budget-busting plan doesn’t work, and they can possibly avoid the worst of the penalties).

              • JulioZuleta

                They really just traded him for $800K though. Without the trade, if they had spent $800K, they would have owed $800K in taxes. With the trade they paid $800K that they owed no taxes on.

                Kyle: teams can value players differently. The Astros may have thought they were getting an Altuve pt 2 (They’re not.) Or maybe they had no intention of using the $800K. Maybe the Stros are the ones that messed up? Anyways, I don’t feel like having this discussion again though. It won’t go anywhere.

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              I agree, I mean if they misread the market then it sucks they lost Torreyes, but in my opinion they are making up for it in the fact they are going hard after these top IFA’s. If we sign Tseng,Luis Encarnacion and Leonardo Molina all will be completely forgiven in my book. Doubt we get all, prob just end up getting Tseng, but if we also got 1 or both of Encarnacion or Molina then I tip my cap off to Ricketts for spending big on these high priced lotto tickets. They could possibly spend up to $10mil and if just one makes and allstar game or becomes a stud and the rest never make it, then that is still money well spent

              • ssckelley

                Seeing how loaded the Cubs are in middle infielders I do not see losing Torreyes as much of a loss. In fact I think they did him a favor giving him a chance to make it in another organization.

              • Kyle

                I’m not even that worried about losing Torreyes. I like him, but not enough to make a stink about.

                I just hate the “Man, it sure seems like a small mistake but actually it was all part of a brilliant plan put together three years ago” meme.

                • SenorGato

                  Maybe I’ve missed it, but I don’t see much of this.

                • Pat

                  It reminds me a lot of when I used to play penny stocks years ago. No matter what sort of news was released, there were always many people absolutely convinced it was part of the master plan and ultimately not only a good thing, but a great thing. (must be all the buy low/ sell high, long term asset, etc. talk).

                  Based on what has happened, it would seem the most likely explanation is they realized part way through that they were not going to be able to avoid the penalties, or that it wouldn’t be worth it, and changed plans. Nothing at all wrong with that. Being able to adjust to changing conditions is far more important than coming up with a plan in the first place.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Phil Rogers: “intriguing guys still out there are Dominican 15-year-olds Luis Encarnacion and Leonardo Molina, who aren’t eligible to sign until their 16thbirthdays. Molina, a speedy center fielder who is extremely athletic, turns 16 on Aug. 1; Encarnacion, a third baseman with raw power, turns 16 on Aug. 9.”

    It be awesome if we could sign Tseng, and these 2 guys. Now I think Phil Rogers speculate to much for his good and more writes about what Phil Rogers thinks himself then reporting hard journalism with sources, but if we could land these 2 guys it be awesome. But as I said I take a lot of what Phil Rogers say with a grain of salt.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-cubs-international-players-20130704,0,6900881.story

    • SenorGato

      Molina sounds nice if they’re still piling up 16 year olds like LT and son.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Question. Obviously the Cubs don’t think there is any premium talent in next years IFA market, so why would they think their IFA slots would have enough value to get any significant prospect back in a trade?
    Obviously they think the lower rated of this years prospects are better than the best talent next year, right?

    Well the strategy is either brilliant, reckless, or a sign of panic. We’ll see.

    • KidCubbie

      Could be that another team values next years talent differently than the Cubs do. If other teams perceive next years crop as talented then someone will poney up for the pool money.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Okay. That’s possible. I really don’t know how much of a consensus in there is among scouts when it comes to IFA’s.

        Do you know how many teams exceeded their slots this year. It looks like the Cubs and Texas for sure? Anyone else?

        • KidCubbie

          Not sure bro. Those are the only two I have heard of so far.

    • On The Farm

      It could be that they have a better feel for this years class then they do next years class.

      Or, maybe they have better connections with this years class, where as opposed to next years class the top prospects favor other teams, so the Cubs are just striking while the iron is hot.

    • ssckelley

      I don’t think the Cubs necessarily view the international talent as weak next year I think they see an opportunity to take advantage of the market on pool money that MLB created when they announced stiffer penalties for next year. So they are buying up everything they can this year when the penalties are lower and then use the pool money to deal with other teams looking to add extra pool money. It is all about buying low and selling high.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        So if it’s not weak, we have just limited our ability to sign the best prospects. I hope this is not the case.

  • Fenway Frank

    Perhaps the cubs know they are going to eat the penalty. Maybe when the Garza trade happens, the cubs grease the wheels with say 2MM in international cap space. The “well, at least I’m getting young prospects in return” may help pry away a premier prospect. Cubs would be out 4MM instead of 2MM because they would have to pay tax, no big deal if they are going over anyway.

    • Fenway Frank

      It explains why the cubs trade for cap space then blow by the limit

  • Crockett

    As some of you know, I have a very good friend who works in the Minnesota front office. He JUST texted me that it sounds to them/him that Garza will be dealt by tomorrow. He never gives me specifics about this stuff, but has been right a lot more than he’s wrong.

    EXCITED.

    • Rebuilding

      Interesting. Thanks for the info

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

      Very nice!

    • On The Farm

      Hate to break it to you, but Assman already said he would be traded by tomorrow…

      But in all seriousness thank you for the post, much appreciated.

      • Crockett

        Did he? I didn’t see that. Did he say what the Cubs would be getting?

      • On The Farm

        By the way does this mean we get to see our big studly south-paw Raley in action?

        • ssckelley

          Yes please! We need to stop this winning streak now while we still have a shot at a top 5 pick in next years draft. Recall Rusin as well.

  • jt

    sign all the players!!!!!!
    But where ya goin’ to put them?
    There is a point of diminishing returns. Quality trumps quantity. I’d rather coaches work with Alcantara rather than Torreyes. I’d rather a 2013 high quality group of elites rather than a few this year and a few next year and a few the year after and…
    I want the farm learning intense with players earning the right for development time. I want the facility in the DR learning intense for prospects that actually have a chance to make it. They wont be able to sign top prospects next year? So be it as long as there is enough quality talent on the platter to work with.
    Hey, we are talking 25 MLB roster spots. We are hoping some of the prospects play at Wrigley 5 to 10 years or more. Teach, evaluate and trim the fat. That takes time. Players are valuable but so it the coaches time. Butter spread thin is insipid. I want coaches to work with P. Johnson and not so much with McNutt.
    Teach, evaluate and trim the fat.

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