The primary rush of international signings tends to pass within that first week of the international signing period opening up on July 2, when all of the top 16-year-old prospects will be spoken for (and, in fact, they tend to have been spoken for long before that). But, thereafter, in part because some players haven’t yet turned 16, and in part because of a variety of geographic, economic, political, and practical reasons, signings will continue to trickle throughout the period, which runs until mid-June 2015.
The Cubs, because they’d blown out their budget last year and incurred the most significant penalty in this period, were never going to be in on any of those big names anyway. They are limited to a maximum $250,000 signing bonus for individual players, which, coupled with their $4ish million IFA bonus pool this year, means that we’re likely to see a whole lot of those types of signings for the Cubs (together with a likely bonus pool slot trade at some point).
So far, that expectation has held true, with the Cubs reportedly signing Dominican left-handed pitcher Wander Cabrera and Domincan shortstop Yeiler Peguero for $250,000 apiece, reportedly signing Dominican third baseman Tony Rijo for $100,000, and reportedly signing Panamanian shortstop Francisco Garay for an unreported amount.
Add another name to the group: Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Emilio Ferrebus, who Baseball America reports gets $250,000.
Writing for BA, Ben Badler says the 16-year-old Ferrebus can touch the low-90s, and stands at 6’1″ 185 lbs. Scouts tell Badler that Ferrebus has a smooth delivery, and already has a good feel for his secondary pitches (curve, change).
Standard caveat: the odds are stacked heavily against guys like Ferrebus ever reaching the prospect radar, let alone reaching big league relevance. But you’ve got to play the game, and it’s fun to track these guys as best we can over the years. If he’s in the States by 2016/17, this is a win.
We can only spitball at this point, but it looks like the Cubs still have about $3 million in IFA money with which to work.