Keeping in mind that the prevailing wisdom remains that the Dodgers will get any and every IFA-eligible Cuban prospect they want this year, let’s note a couple things:
(1) The thinking that the Dodgers would get all such players was predicated on the fact that, unlike Dominican and Venezuelan players, recently-eligible Cubans weren’t yet committed to teams, and the Dodgers – having bowed out late on Yoan Moncada and thus not having gobbled up Dominican and Venezuelan players when they had the chance – would use all of their might to get everyone who is not committed.
(2) Lucius Fox, a shortstop from the Bahamas, was also not committed, and the thinking was that the Dodgers would get him for the same reason. They didn’t. He’s reportedly signed for $6.5 million with the Giants.
(3) The implication, then, is that the Dodgers won’t get every uncommitted, high-end prospect, and/or they do not have unlimited money to win out on every player.
Against that backdrop, here’s this:
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) July 2, 2015
Again, I want to reiterate that the prevailing wisdom still seems to be that the Dodgers are the favorite for Martinez. Maybe he’s legitimately weighing offers, or maybe he wants a little time to think things over. Or maybe he wants a little brighter spotlight in a couple days. These are all possibilities.
Thus, I don’t want to raise folks’ hopes too much on Martinez, who is an elite talent – unlike your typical top prospect in IFA, and more like the kind of top Cuban prospects over whom the baseball world has been fawning for years. When all is said and done, I’d be surprised if he didn’t wind up with the Dodgers.
However, if he really is still mulling things, then you’ve got to believe there’s a chance the Cubs are still involved. They’ve been one of the rumored interested teams for a little while, and, since they’re blowing their IFA budget anyway, they make as much sense as any team.
Kiley McDaniel projects Martinez to get upwards of $11 million for his bonus, which would mean a total commitment of $22 million (when you consider the overage tax). That’s a huge outlay for a 20-year-old prospect. Then again, opportunities to get a player like this for only money don’t come up every day.
Do you roll the dice on Martinez, or do you save that money to spend on a free agent contract like, say, Jason Hammel (two years and $20 million)? Maybe that’s an unfair example given how good Hammel has been and how inexpensive his contract was, but you can see why this isn’t an easy decision for an organization that doesn’t yet have its full financial might available.