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.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Hey Luke! Where do you think Tseng and Meija will start AZL?

  • TheMagicman

    Random, but when is Soler expected off the DL?

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  • John

    Next year with the restrictions on IFA signings the Cubs will have – does anyone know if they can trade their pool money for someone else’s IFA signing? That is, if the Astros sign a player for $2M, can the Cubs trade them $3M of their pool money for him? That would be a large loophole in the system.

    • MichiganGoat

      No the can only spend 250K per player regardless of how much pool money they trade for.

    • Dan

      I could be wrong, but I didn’t think those players were tradable. Now, another loophole would be to trade their pool money. Since they’ll have a cap on how much they can spend on players, they likely won’t need all the money that they’ll have, so the pool money could be pretty damn valuable come June.

    • JB88

      A team acquiring pool space can only acquire up to 50% overage of their total. For example, if the Cubs were dealing with the Yankees and let’s assume for purposes of this hypo the Yankees have $2M in International Pool space, then the Cubs could trade the Yankees up to $1M in pool space. Also, pool space is comprised of a series of “slots” with the slots having differing denominations, so in order to reach that $1M hypo trade to the Yankees, the Cubs might trade slots 4 and 5, for example.

      There is no prohibition on how a trade might work, outside of the fact that I don’t believe the Cubs could trade pool space for the Astros to select someone on the Cubs’ behalf and trade that person back. I believe that the 1-year restriction on trading drafted players also applies to players signed in IFA.

      • MichiganGoat

        But this is all academic because the Cubs will be under penalty for going over the cap this year that restricts all signing to a 250K max. They won’t be trading for IFA money next season.

        geez not only can I post pics I can also offer intelligent insight ;)

        • DarthHater

          Not true, Goat. You always screw up the pics you try to post. :-P

          • MichiganGoat

            I’m at about a 25% fail rate I’ve got much better under your instruction.

            • DarthHater

              So, what’s your fail rate on intelligent insights?

        • JB88

          Of course not. And that isn’t what my post was suggesting. I was only trying to respond to the original posters less-than-well-articulated question of whether the Cubs might trade the Astros $3M for the Stros to select a $2M dollar IFA on the Cubs’ behalf.

      • MichiganGoat
    • cms0101

      International free agents that are signed cannot be traded for one year, just like drafted players. I would look for the Cubs to trade much of their pool money next season given the restrictions they will have. But they will not be able to trade for recently signed guys.

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