Making It Official: Eloy Jimenez Signs with Cubs for $2.8 Million (And a Signings Update)

dominican flagWe were waiting for the Trade Deadline for a number of reasons (most of which did not come to pass), and waiting for the deadline to pass for at least one reason: that’s when top international prospect Eloy Jimenez was expected to officially sign with the Chicago Cubs.

And, according to reports out of the Dominican Republic – including this one, complete with a picture, from ESPN Deportes’ Dionisio Soldevila – it’s now a done deal, with Jimenez getting $2.8 million and $250,000 for college. Jimenez, 16, was generally considered the top prospect in the Dominican Republic this year, and likely in the entire international class. You can read more about him here. (UPDATE: And the Cubs confirm the signing.)

With Jimenez in the fold, and the Cubs officially way, way over their international pool allotment, they can no longer trade for additional pool space (not that such a trade was all that likely at this point anyway).

According to reports, the Cubs’ international signings break down thusly:

Eloy Jimenez – $2.8 million

Gleyber Torres – $1.7 million

Jen-Ho Tseng – $1.625 million

Jefferson Mejia – $850,000

Erling Moreno – $650,000

Yohan Matos – $270,000

That’s a total of $7,895,000.

After various early month trades, the Cubs’ international signing pool stood at $5,520,200. That means, after officially inking Jimenez, the Cubs have exceeded their pool by some 50%. The harshest penalty kicks in at a 15% overage, so, yeah, the Cubs are going to face the stiffest penalty: a 100% tax on the overage, plus the inability to sign any player next year for more than $250,000.

As I’ve written previously, suffering this punishment – particularly where the Cubs believe this year’s class to be better than next year’s – isn’t the worst thing in the world, and, indeed, can be worked to the Cubs’ benefit. Although the Cubs will be limited next year, they’ll still be permitted to spend or trade their entire allotment. They won’t be in on the biggest names, but you can still find great players at $250,000. Where they can’t, they can now trade some of their pool for prospects or Major League players. Win, win, win.

Further, since the Cubs are already well into the harshest penalty, they can now keep on signing players this year, so long as they’re willing to pay the tax (so, signing a $500,000 player will cost $1 million). Most of the top youngsters have already signed, but at least one top five prospect (to Baseball America), third baseman Luis Encarnacion, is not eligible to sign until August 9, when he turns 16. So we’ll see.

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

172 responses to “Making It Official: Eloy Jimenez Signs with Cubs for $2.8 Million (And a Signings Update)”

  1. MichiganGoat


    1. BleedCubbieBlue

      Except when Puig is available or Darvish or Chapman

      1. Jackson Scofield

        Cubs did bid on both Puig and Darvish.

  2. Jed Jam Band

    This is evil genius level stuff right here. Props to Theo and Jed for seeing the loophole.

  3. Kramden

    Hard to believe after all the BS we used to hear from McFail about building up the farm ystem so they didn’t need to focus on free agents, but jebbstein really is/are assembling a robust farm system.

    1. Kyle

      MacPhail put together a pretty good farm system.

  4. Patrick G

    When and when can he start playing? Dominican rookie ball?

  5. Tommy

    So please explain the Torreyes trade now. That doesn’t make any sense at this point.

    1. King Jeff

      Had to go with Plan B?

    2. Jed Jam Band

      They used it to obfuscate the strategy to prevent other teams from getting the same idea. Also, they had soured on Torreyes and with a system packed with high-upside middle infielders, they needed places for everyone to play.

    3. CubsWSchamps2016

      Maybe they didn’t expect to go over budget by this much. They had to adjust their plans

    4. Crockett

      Pulling money away from a team who might have been after a prospect the Cubs were and Jedstein knew Houston wouldn’t want to endure penalties for a bidding war?

      Just a possibility.

      1. King Jeff

        That actually makes some sense, interesting.

        1. Crockett

          You state that like I usually make no sense at all…

      2. Rebuilding

        I assume Houston was the only team with more IFA pool money than us so why not help make sure they can’t outbid you

        1. Kyle

          If Houston had any intention of outbidding you, why would they trade you slot money?

          1. Crockett

            Prospect who is a known quality > unknown to some people.

            1. cms0101

              I’m willing to give the FO credit for being smart guys, but I don’t think they were trying to be that smart and pull money away from the Astros to prevent them from signing players away from them. If we’re speculating, I would venture to guess the Cubs may have signed one more guy than they were projecting, or one of the guys they targeted cost more than they planned for. They probably had every intention of acquiring the maximum amount of cap space so they could allocate it to all of their proposed signings. Next year they’ll trade cap space and focus on signing $250k guys, at the back end of the top 30 lists. This is where their international scouts and the new Dominican facilities have to earn their worth.

      3. The Dude

        If true, what a smart strategy. I like that.

    5. ssckelley

      Perhaps Houston will give him back so the Cubs can send Baez back down to Daytona. Obviously the Cubs made a huge mistake making room for Baez in Tennessee.

  6. CubsWSchamps2016

    since were facing the toughest penalties already lets go sign the best right handed hitting IFA Luis Encarnacion. Blow this IFA budget up. Sign ever kid the Cubs thinks has talent because we won’t be able to next season

    1. cms0101

      Encarnacion is going to sign with another team. It’s already a done deal. I don’t remember which team, but he has a handshake agreement already.

      1. AlwaysNextYear

        It’s the Phillies

  7. Rebuilding

    The way I look at it – we are a little light on MLB payroll this year for a club our size so put the money here and hey it’s Ricketts’s money

  8. Corey

    Man, I just don’t get paying that much money for a 16 year old. However, is he like a physical specimen, like Soler?

    1. Carew

      judging from the picture Brett mentioned on this, yes, yes he is

    2. King Jeff

      6-4/200 lbs. He’s almost as big as Soler already.

    3. dhfan72

      Who cares? Not all these guys will pan out, but the CBA has changed everything regarding prospect management and you may as well take some shots at a certain percentage of these kids panning out. It’s not really that much $ when you consider what they pay for some scratch higher level utility players that have no upside

    4. CubsWSchamps2016

      Yeah he’s huge and physical Specieman. does scouting video on him. Look for yourself.

      1. Corey

        OMG, HE’S 16?!?

        1. CubsWSchamps2016

          yep he looks like he’s in his 20′s

          1. CubsWSchamps2016

            Well he has a baby but the body of a guy in his 20′s and he’s only going to add muscle and get strong.

            1. CubsWSchamps2016

              Baby face*

  9. King Jeff

    It’s not even a top 10 all-time bonus.

    1. Timothy Scarbrough

      The new restrictions make it impossible to compare though.

  10. Jp3

    Stupid question but can we trade for someone else’s IFA bonus money? Seems like if we could trade for someone else’s we could do it next year as well?

    1. MichiganGoat

      Yes but now the deadline has passed so we can’t

      1. Jp3

        I actually meant next year? Seems like if we traded Ronald T for Houston’s money this year we could trade a higher prospect for someone else’s bigger bonus, no?

        1. mak

          The cubs will have their “full” amount of signing pool next year, but they can’t sign any player over $250k. So they can add to the pool but it only increases the amount of players they can sign at 250k without incurring 2015 penalties.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Yeah the bigger plus for the Cubs is they can trade away their slots which might be very sought after next year because of the “poison pill” in next years international signing period.

          2. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Just means we are trading our 1st round bonus next year since we can’t go over $250k.

            1. Jp3

              Got it, thanks guys. Wasn’t sure if it was like an NFL situation where you could lose your 1st round pick but trade for someone else’s sort of deal. So we could just sign more people at $250k? Weird

              1. MichiganGoat

                Just remember this changes next year once the “poison pill” (to help force a international draft) goes into effect. This is pure brilliance by the FO to take advantage of a loophole that only happens this year.

                1. MichiganGoat
                2. Jp3

                  I like the gamean either way. If they think Torres and Jimenez were the cream of the crop and went for them both, I’m 100% on board… I live the aggressiveness. 2 studs and we basically lost our 1st rounder, big deal.

                  1. Jp3

                    Gameplan*. Dang auto correct for whatever word it made up

    2. cubchymyst

      Next year the Cubs are likely to trade the international pools as a deal sweetener for prospects or MLB players.

  11. Funn Dave

    Hmm, two homers for Lake today. Now people are gonna start calling him streaky.

    1. wvcubsfan

      I wish I knew when that turned into a bad thing. Kind of like the word compromise in DC.

    2. Danny Ballgame

      Dude smashed both of those. Wowzer power

    3. Bret Epic

      If he were on Grey’s Anatomy, he’d be McStreaky

      1. Jp3

        Is my wife commenting on this board now?

    4. CubsWSchamps2016

      Soriano has hit more then 1 homer in a game. Are you calling Soriano not streaky? Lake is streaky. You make no point here. I like Lake but you can’t say he’s not a streaky player. If would have followed him during his minor league career you would know that.

      Being Streaky doesn’t mean he’s a bad player though. Not comp’ing him to Soriano but if he could end up being like soriano streaky then I’d take a couple bad months at the plate as long as he could put the team on his back for other months

      1. Eternal Pessimist

        I think the comment was meant to be humerus…or ironic…or something.

  12. Adam

    Any other players on Baseball America’s top 30 list that hasn’t been signed yet other than Encarnacion?

    1. Jed Jam Band

      No evidence that #29 on the list, Anderson Franco, has signed anywhere.

      1. Tommy

        One player the team has long had on its radar screen is third baseman Anderson Franco, who is out of the Dominican Republic. The Nationals have been following Franco for several years, and they like him. He will turn 16 on Aug. 15 and will then be eligible to sign. Baseball America first linked the Nationals to Franco.

        Let’s hope the Cubs steal this one from them!

        1. CubsWSchamps2016

          Cubs should sign every player they think has talent in this IFA class. Sign every kid left on Top 30 lists. I know there are a couple left who are still too young to sign. They won’t be able to sign any impact IFA’s next season so BUY ALL THE IFA PLAYERS this season because next year we’ll just be fishing for diamonds in the rough….

        2. cms0101

          If guys are linked to a particular team, it is extremely unlikely that team changes. Another team tried to swoop in and steal Jimenez from the Cubs when they slow played his signing to try and get more pool space, but he honored his agreement. Verbal agreements made with the “agents” of the international guys are pretty solid, as teams and “agents” want to stay in each other’s good graces.

  13. JeffR

    Have the cubs been linked to Luis Encarnacion at all? Is there any info on the teams that are going after him?

    1. mak

      Thought i read he was linked to yanks, but I can’t find where

      1. JeffR

        If the cubs like him you would think they would be able to outbid anyone else being that it’s probably not worth it to the other teams to go over their allotted pool.

        1. mak

          If they like him. Would cost cubs x 2 because of tax. This FO doesn’t like to overspend on talent they don’t love.

    2. CubsWSchamps2016

      Supposedly the red Sox and Yankees are likely to sign Encarnacion

      1. Scotti

        It had been the Phillies but I haven’t kept up with it since Ben Badler’s early report:

        “Sources say the Phillies have been enamored with Encarnacion and have emerged as his most likely destination.”

        1. Scotti

          And, FWIW, his bat looks awesome (really, really good–you rarely see that kind of hard contact over and over again), but he really looked nervous with the glove. Never seen a video quite like his. The IPL put it out and, damn, he dropped 4 balls. He was just 15:

    3. CubsWSchamps2016

      I think the Cubs should really spend huge amd sign every last bit of talent left on the IFA market since we are already recieving max penalties for next season and we have nothing to lose by signing them

      1. JeffR

        Well the only difficult part is they have to pay twice what the value of the player is. So the front office has to like a guy in order to pay twice what others teams would have to. We are still talking about millions of dollars.

        1. Josh t

          Cubs are flush with cash especially after trading so many players on the big league roster. They should have as much money as they need to buy as many IFA FA as they want no matter if they pay double

          1. Josh t

            The cubs can buy whoever they want if they really like them. Paying double for an IFA they can get him and they should. Money should be no excuse

            1. JeffR

              Yeah as I said, if they like a guy. No sense in throwing money around just to throw it around though.

              1. Josh t

                IFA’s are like lottery tickets. The more you have the more likely you are to win. So they should buy as many as they can as long as they have upside. If the IFA shows big upside they should spend to get the guy. Cubs can afford to sign them and should because they won’t be able to next year

                1. Kyle

                  They are also like lottery tickets in that if you don’t care how many you buy, you are going to be broke and get nothing in return.

                  1. cb

                    Any successful poker player (or stock trader) will tell you, the key is to make successful gambles. This means that you only take the gamble when your odds on return are greater than the odds you are taking on the gamble.

                    So if you have to pay $25 for a chance to win $100, you do it if the odds of winning are greater than 20%.

                    If you only have to be successful 20% of the time to make a profitable gamble, you’re probably going to miss a lot, but still, it’s a profitable play.

                    Can’t just look at it as “well, a lot of players don’t work out.” A lot of first round picks don’t work out – same with any other sport (Ryan Leaf, Tony Mandarich, JaMarcus Russell, the mid-80s Celtics come to mind).

                    1. On The Farm

                      “A lot of first round picks don’t work out ”

                      See the Cubs first round draft strategy from 2003-2007 (2010)

  14. The Dude

    They placed some really good, really expensive bets. Well done, and good luck!

  15. Jon

    Stupid question, but logistically, what happens next ? Does he stay in the DR for a few years at the academy before coming to Mesa?

    1. JeffR

      I’m not expert on this stuff, but I believe he will stay in the DR until they believe he is ready for the Arizona rookie league. Likely 3 years or so.

      1. Luke

        Probably not that long. One season at least, but more than two would be surprising. We could see him in the U.S. as soon as the instructional league next fall.

    2. Kyle

      The general rule of thumb is sign at 16, playing the dominican leagues at 17, join the United States leagues at 18.

  16. Die hard

    Buying a pig in the poke🐖

  17. Rebuilding

    That was an impressive HR by Rizzo. Paco Rodriguez is about as tough of a lefty as you’re going to see

  18. Carmelo

    Kane County’s Rivero (Cuban) 2innings, 4 k’s tonight. Last 6 innings, 2 hits, 2bb’s and 14 k’s. He needs to be moved up ASAP.

    1. Jed Jam Band

      They’ve already got one hell of a staff in Daytona, but they might bring him up for the playoff push.

      1. Josh t

        Daytona has a heck of a rotation but that lineup has taken a huge hit with their lineup over the last month. But I agee, I am really excited to see this team in the playoffs

    2. PcB

      Because of 6 innings? Let slow it down.

  19. Ferris

    Barney defensively Is awesome but hes gettn worse at the dish…watchd two down the middle fastballs to end the game, what was he looking for there? Rizzo heating up castro to,lake is a shot in the arm but we are jus to weak at second an third, id also like to see mccann signed in the off season an castillo as backup,trade navaro or resign him this offseason if were gonna stay w castillo as starter but thatd be a nice lh bat. I hope olt is at third n 2014, this team will be much better nxt yr. Barney is a nice bench player……i thnk gregg ransom trade in aug. Also…

  20. 1060Ivy

    6 lottery tickets, hey 6 chances increases the opportunity that one of the signings make it to the MLB

  21. David

    BRETT/ LUKE – would Jimenez crack the recent top 40 prospect list??? If any of the IFA would crack it, I’d be him, I would guess.

    1. Josh t

      Not really a point in ranking a guy who hasn’t played any pro ball in the states but based on his extremely high ceiling I’d say he would be. But he’s still has a very low floor bc he’s only 16

  22. EricR

    Jimenez has a nice, repeatable swing. Take a look:

    1. Luke

      There is a lot to like in that swing. The head is steady, the balance is good, there are no complex moving parts to time, the hands are quick to the hitting zone, and (although the angle makes this tough to gauge) it looks like he is able to keep his hands in pretty well thus shortening the swing a bit and theoretically making him less exposed to pitches on the inside of the plate.

      That swing is a good place for a prospect to start. I don’t see anything glaring that he needs to unlearn before the Cubs can start building him up again. Good video.

      1. Rebuilding

        He has a real whip-like follow through with the top hand falling off. quick hands through the zone. im sure they’ll work with him to get more compact, but sometimes hard to do with someone so wirey. he is a physical specimen – a man-child. You almost hope he doesn’t grow much more because very few above 6’4″ make it because it takes too long for the arms to get extended through the zone

    2. CubsWSchamps2016

      Anyone know if Jimenez could potentially play CF? I’ve read he profiles more as corner outfielder but is super athletic for a guy whose 6’4 200″ and has shot to stick there

  23. ruby2626

    I watched Armando Rivera warm up the other day in KC and he is super impressive. His build is absolutely perfect for a pitcher. Tall dude, long legs. What impressed me was the movement on the fastball and a sharp downward breaking slider. Mid 90′s doesn’t hurt either

    1. CubsWSchamps2016

      Hopefully he has a chnace to stick in the rotation but I’ve seen him and I think he profiles better as a reliever

      1. chirogerg

        the one time I got to see him in KC, he walked 2 guys and gave up a huge bomb in 2 innings of work, but showed good change-up/split/whatever that thing was

      2. Kyle

        He’s already in the pen. He’s absolutely not a starter in any way. But I’m super intrigued by his recent results in the pen. 14 Ks in 6 IP will always get my attention.

  24. cms0101

    I’ve seen multiple comments on why the Cubs dumped Torreyes, but really I think the question should be why did they bother to trade pool space to the Dodgers just to dump Marmol? Guerreri is doing well thus far out of the pen, and the Dodgers ate about $500k of Marmol’s salary, but it seems like that pool money would be worth double to the Cubs if they kept it, thus negating the $500k savings. If they simply released Marmol, they’d have a little more money to save on the overage tax. I get why they tried to acquire money for Torreyes, but the Marmol move really puzzles me.

    1. Kyle

      Didn’t we get a conditional PTBNL for Marmol? That’d be a tiny bit better than releasing him.

      1. cms0101

        I don’t believe that is the case. I can’t find anything that links a PTBNL to the Marmol trade.

  25. Jason (Thundermug)

    Baseball America is slow they haven’t got us signing Jen-Ho Tseng rhp Taiwan yet when he was signed last week Get on the Ball

  26. cubsin

    I read one analyst who said that Plan A for the international draft was to obtain enough slots from other teams to reach 150% of our original pool. When they discovered that this was unlikely to happen, they grabbed what they could. Then, when a few more high-dollar prospects than expected signed with the Cubs, they decided to keep signing prospects and accepting the penalties.

    Next year, because of the higher penalties, draft slots will be even harder to obtain via trade, so the cost in prospects will go up. Depending on where they finish in the standings, the Cubs should have $3-4 million in pool money, so they may have $1-2 million available to trade to other teams who need more IFA money. They should be able to sign all the $50-250K prospects they want and still acquire a couple of prospects who are better than Torreyes.

  27. Cubs Minor League Daily: We’re Talking Playoffs | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] Jiminez has officially signed. He has the potential to be a high-impact player that we could be talking about for quite some […]

  28. TulaneCubs

    One thing to keep in mind even if we don’t get any other guys currently in the top 30 is that any “pop up” guys would be in play. While most of the signings get done early, these guys are around and since we’re already over budget, we can pretty much spend whatever it takes to sign them. Of course, it’ll cost us twice as much to sign them since we’re already over budget and we’d incur a 100% penalty, but something to keep in mind.

  29. cubsklm

    Where do these 3 guys rank among, Cubs prospects?
    What about the Top 100 MLB prospects?

    Eloy Jimenez – (OF)
    Gleyber Torres – (SS)
    Jen-Ho Tseng – (SP) I really like this kid!

    1. JeffR

      Luke said in an earlier post that they aren’t eligible for rankings until they play in the United States.

    2. CubsFaninMS

      They’re all ranked above Zach Morris (except Tseng) and below Tapanga Lawrence.

      1. On The Farm

        Eh they are a little old to be considered prospects aren’t they?

        1. CubsFaninMS

          Ha Now they are! I would’ve mentioned Justin Bieber but even he is over 18 now.

    3. Cedlandrum

      Eloy may make some top 20 lists, but certainly not top 100 lists.

  30. Justin

    I am curious to see if the Cubs can spend their pool money next yr and buy a stud prospect. Would a ridiculous team like the Marlins trade a guy like Andrew Heaney for $3 Mill next year of pool money? That would be so awesome.. Obviously no team would move an uber prospect for pool money, but why not a 2nd tier guy for tons of cash..

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