As you already knew, the Chicago Cubs were among the big international spenders in 2015, as they blew out their IFA budget right at the start of the last period, which opened on July 2, 2015.
At Baseball America, Ben Badler has catalogued all team international spending in the 2015 calendar year, and it makes for an interesting read here.
The Cubs come in at number three in baseball, having spent $18.53 million on signing bonuses for international prospects in 2015. They are a distant third behind the insanely-lavishly-spending Dodgers and the Red Sox (Yoan Moncada, alone, cost over $30 million, you’ll recall), but only one other team is even over $10 million (the Diamondbacks, who gave more than $8 million to Cuban pitcher Yoan Lopez). So, the Cubs are kind of in a tier by themselves, having spent quite a bit on a large number of players in 2015, almost entirely within the current IFA period.
Interestingly on that front, if you exclude Cuban prospects from the international signings, the Cubs’ spending in 2015 blows every other team away. Clearly, they were aggressive and early in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, in particular. Because Cuban players come available in a much more unpredictable way, the Dodgers have been able to outspend everyone else on the top players from that group. Here’s hoping that doesn’t continue for the next few months.
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