Sometimes, international signings just don’t work out. Not just on the field – sometimes before they even get there.
The Cubs’ previously-reported agreement with Christopher Martinez, a third base prospect out of the Dominican Republic, has fallen through, according to sources cited by Baseball America. The team reportedly agreed to sign Martinez in early July to a deal worth $1 million.
Ben Badler’s brief scouting report noted that Martinez “flashes average raw power” but also highlighted concerns about his swing-and-miss rate and need to possibly move off third base and onto first or to the outfield as he was described as a “limited runner.”
Although Martinez did not rank among the top 30 of international prospects, Baseball America listed him as one of the Cubs’ four most notable signings along with shortstops Aramis Ademan and Yonathan Perlaza and catcher Miguel Amaya.
Because the Cubs will pay a 100 percent tax for exceeding their international draft pool, not signing Martinez means the Cubs will save $2 million.
According to Baseball America, the Cubs took issue with Martinez’s physical, but did offer $50,000 to sign, which was turned down.
These things happen from time to time for one reason or another, and you can read the BA piece for recent examples.
The Cubs have yet to officially announce any of their IFA signings from the current period, and it remains to be seen how they’ll maximize their spending since they’re blowing out the budget. In addition to the reported signings on July 2, the Cubs also reportedly finished a deal with Korean outfielder Kwang-min Kwon, but things have otherwise been fairly quiet on this front since July. Many top Cuban players remain available, including big-time outfield prospect Eddy Julio Martinez.