Sign All the International Prospects: Cubs Reportedly Ink Venezuelan Wladimir Galindo

venezuelaAmidst the tumult of a relatively quiet and thrifty offseason, it’s easy to forget that there was a time this year that the Chicago Cubs were the spendiest team in all of baseball. The time? The international signing period, of course.*

This year, the Cubs blew through their international signing pool allotment to grab the top two international prospects this year – Dominican outfielder Eloy Jimenez, and Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres – as well as two top 30 pitchers in Jen-Ho Tseng and Erling Moreno, and another pitcher (Jefferson Mejia) would would likely have been in the top 30 if he were eligible for those lists.

Now the Cubs have reportedly added another top 30 international prospect to the group: Venezuelan infielder Wladimir Galindo, whom MLB.com ranked 25th in this international class. No word yet on the bonus he received, and the Cubs have not yet confirmed the signing. The original report comes from El Siglo in Venezuela (complete with pictures of a young man, identified as Galindo, donning a Cubs shirt), and he appears to be confirming the signing on his Twitter account (which appears to be his Twitter account, but obviously those things aren’t 100% in situations like this).  It actually looks like he agreed to terms back on December 4, but didn’t finalize the deal until this week. I guess wait for the official confirmation from the Cubs before locking Galindo into the Cubs’ class, but, on the balance, the evidence looks pretty strong that this signing is legit.

Galindo, who just turned 17, is listed by MLB.com as a shortstop and a third baseman, though it sounds like the latter is more likely to be his position going forward. He’s already a big kid – 6’3″ and 210 lbs – with power and athleticism. He’ll almost certainly play in the Venezuelan Summer League next year before possibly making the leap to the Arizona Rookie League in 2015.

Most 16/17-year-old players sign shortly after the signing period opens up in early July, so the timing of Galindo’s signing is a little atypical. It’s unclear why he waited, but, since he couldn’t play until next year anyway, all’s well that ends well. It’s another big feather in the Cubs’ international cap (some organizations will go the entire signing period without inking a single prospect of Galindo’s caliber, let alone six), and the hope is that a couple of these youngsters will emerge as relevant prospects in a couple years. Yes, that’s a low bar, but one must be realistic about teenage signings.

I remain thrilled to see the organization taking a very long, very sustainable view.

*(The Cubs also spent more than any other team in the Draft this year. Cheaper than spending in free agency, sure, but at least the Cubs are putting their money where the metaphorical mouth of The Plan is.)

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

54 responses to “Sign All the International Prospects: Cubs Reportedly Ink Venezuelan Wladimir Galindo”

  1. Edwin

    So, does this signing affect that international cap thing?

    Also, where would a player like Galindo (and even the other international FA the Cubs signed) rank in terms of the MLB draft? What round would a player like Galino normally go in?

  2. Luke

    I really like what the Cubs have done on the international free agent scene this year. They are way over the cap and into penalty territory, but they are still spending. And this is the year to do it given the rule changes next year.

    That is another big kid. Size doesn’t matter greatly in case like this, but he is about as big as Jimenez and the Cubs are thought to be considering starting Jimenez in Arizona. This guy most likely goes to the VSL, but that will be something to keep an eye on.

    1. Edwin

      Luke,

      Maybe you can help answer my question above.

      Also, if the Cubs had decided to not go over the cap and into penalty territory, what would their international FA class look like? Who are the “Net” players gained by going over the cap, and where would they rank in terms of draft picks?

      1. Luke

        Ranking these guys as if they were draft picks is tough to do and probably doesn’t make sense anyway. Drafted players tend to be eighteen or twenty (high school senior or college sophomore respectively) whereas these players are still sixteen or seventeen. That year makes quite the difference.

        It won’t be until they start playing in the United States that I’ll be able to start comparing these new players to the players currently in the system with any kind of confidence (and not a lot even then).

        As for how many extra the Cubs have been able to sign… I’m not certain off hand and I’m on the road right now and can’t pull that data. If Brett doesn’t have the info, look for an article by Ben Badler on Baseball America a few months back talking about the Cubs blowing out the cap.

        1. C. Steadman

          luke do have twitter? i follow Brett and Jay…just wanted to complete the BN writing team on twitter

        2. Edwin

          I’m not really trying to rank them, as much as I’m curious about how their value compares to the MLB draft. I’m trying to figure out if it was worth it for the Cubs to go over the international FA spending cap, and to suffer the penalties for next year.

  3. Boogens

    “…it’s easy to forget that there was a time this year that the Chicago Cubs were the spendiest team in all of baseball.”

    “I remain thrilled to see the organization taking a very long, very sustainable view.”

    Agree 100% on both points.

  4. forlines

    “I remain thrilled to see the organization taking a very long, very sustainable view.”

    This, to a T. I’m not going to lie and say that i’m completely pleased with the overall state of the Cubs, but to see how potentially stacked we could be for years to come, i’m fine with being patient (annoyed, but patient, that is).

  5. David

    Man, are we gonna be awesome in 2017. I can’t wait.

  6. Clark Addison

    Hopefully his father didn’t sign over a percentage of his future earnings to some parasitic agent.

  7. dtbp17

    I think it’s kind of interesting what the cubs are doing with the international signing period,it seems as though their trying to get that longer timed wave of talent. Theo talked about waves of talent coming up to the bigs, and this international class seems like his move to counteract, hopefully, picking lower in the draft and not getting the more “secure” talent. This is 5-8 year plan for impact talent while the big 4 and these next 2 or 3 drafts are 1-3/4 year plans. Go for a big international draft class with less sure, but potentially impact talent, and in the wash you hope you get the equivelant or better of high end draft picks. Favorite blog by the way thank you.

  8. d biddle

    Which round would each of this year’s International free agents been drafted in the MLB draft? Also, how soon should we expect them to be ready for the majors? Signing so many International free agents this year may make it easier to give up 1st round picks to sign major league free agents for 2015 or 2016.

  9. Sacko

    Interesting write up about Theo and his first years at Boston and players he signed. Watching whats going on here its very much the same. However it did not mention how many got flipped and how many times they started over each year.
    Brett would have a better take on all that and write about it if he chooses.

  10. C. Steadman

    wow 6-3 210 at age 17…if he has to ability to get contact, that ball should be flying off his bat

  11. C. Steadman

    i was doin some reading on mlbtraderumors.com and I know there were a lot of people angry about the Scott Baker situation with the set back in rehad and the 5M to only make 3 starts…but came across Ryan Madson where it happened to two teams Reds signed him for 1 year 8.5M and he didnt pitch at all for them in 2012(needed TJ in the spring) and then the Angels signed him for 3.5M for 2013 and he had a set back and didnt pitch for them…so we arent the only ones! :) …im a glass half full kinda guy

    1. C. Steadman

      for the record i was one of the people who were angry…but obviously Cubs or Baker didnt see it coming…so my anger is fueled by hindsight

  12. SenorGato

    I find the non-DR IFAs to be some of the most interesting IFAs the Cubs have signed. For instance – in 2011 they signed Acosta from the DR and Marcano + Malave from Venezuela. Acosta has pretty much fallen apart as a prospect with major swing and miss issues, and Malave is one of the most interesting 18 year old prospects in the system (especially if he stays at catcher). Marcano is a little less exciting, but hasn’t buried himself yet. Torres and Tseng this year are right with Jimenez, who along with Paniagua is the highest ranked DR guy they’ve signed in a long time (ever? Never really thought about that).

  13. chrisfchi

    I wonder when the cubs will address the lack of prospects at catcher.

    1. SenorGato

      Hopefully with a trade for a AA or higher catcher that can compete with Castillo (or make him available in a trade). I actually think Contreras and Malave have some real potential, though I wouldn’t say no to piling up more toolsy catching prospects.

    2. Luke

      They have some potential catchers deep in the system after taking a number of catchers each of the last few years. Short term the options look limited, but long term they may well be in better shape than we think. It is a little early to say for sure.

      1. chrisfchi

        That’s what I was wondering about. We hear so much about how thin we are at backstop, eventually someone has to come up and challenge beef for his job. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few high upside guys at backstop drafted this June

    3. ssckelley

      The Cubs took a couple of highly rated high school catchers in last years draft that have potential. But I doubt either of them reach KC next season.

  14. Automator

    When are 16 year old international signings subject to Rule 5 considerations? Same as a high school draftee?

  15. nkniacc13

    I wonder with all the grief the cubs have gotten at ties for not spending if part of the reason they are spending so much Internationally and hopefully in regards to Tanaka as well is because of a clause in Ricketts purchase that allows them to do spend $ this way as opposed to being able to spend it in FA

  16. Michael

    Do the Cubs go ahead and sign the last few available top 30 international prospects seeing as they are already way over the spending limit…

  17. ssckelley

    Are there any other top international players that are unsigned the Cubs might get? They might as well sign them all.

  18. Nick

    This to me says that the Cubs will have a lot of trade chips in the future. If these kids are eligible for the rule 5 draft after five years, it is hard to imagine finding 6 or 7 spots on the 40 man roster for these kids unless they really pan out. Hopefully the majority of them turn into good prospects and we can have them be nice side (maybe center) pieces in a trade for stud MLB player.

  19. Wladimir Galindo, Gleyber Torres, and Eloy Jimenez Updates | Obstructed View

    […] yet, so I’m not too broken up about it. Reactions in the blogosphere have mostly expressedpuzzlement at the timing, but it doesn’t seem all that strange to me. A few […]

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