Hey, a couple international free agent signings!
Although the Chicago Cubs have the fourth largest international free agent bonus pool with which to work in this 2014-15 signing period ($3,962,700), because they blew out their budget last year to stock up on studs, and suffered the maximum penalty for their efforts, the organization is prohibited from signing any individual player for more than $250,000.
First, on Cabrera: the 16-year-old is a young man whom the Cubs have been involved with for a little while (he shares a trainer with Eloy Jimenez, the team’s top IFA signing last year), so I’d imagine they’re happy to get the deal formally done.
Badler’s writeup on Cabrera describes him as 6’2″, 190 lbs, with good arm strength. It sounds like his mechanics and command of the strike zone have a tendency to … Wander … on him, but you always like to see that ideal 6’2″, 190 lbs body type. The development and refining can come later, especially when it’s a 16-year-old you’re talking about.
Badler’s writeup on Peguero describes him as a smaller guy, 5’10”, 155 lbs, but with good defensive abilities up the middle. Badler says he’s a good baserunner, and is a line-drive switch hitter. Also 16, Peguero may have a fair bit of physical development left.
Remember, when it comes to these kinds of signings out of Latin America, we’re not likely to hear much about Cabrera or Peguero – if at all – for quite some time. If the Cubs really like one or both, it’s conceivable the player could come to the States in the Fall for instructional ball, but it’s more likely that he’ll continue to train in the DR at the Cubs’ facility there. In 2015, he’ll make his pro baseball debut, again likely in the DR. Even if he’s excellent, you wouldn’t expect to see Cabrera and/or Peguero in the States until 2016 (which, by the way, is why it’s so impressive that Jimenez and Gleyber Torres are already playing in Rookie Ball at age 17), and maybe not even for another year.
You can expect the Cubs to make more signings like this throughout the signing period, but you can also expect them to shop some of their bonus pool slots this month.