money flying bills airIn the first year of the new International Free Agency rules (2013-2014), the Chicago Cubs blew past their budget, signing guys like Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez to (relatively) large deals (paying 100% in overage taxes, along the way).

By going all in on one IFA class, so goes the prevailing wisdom, the Cubs were able to acquire a large amount of impactful talent all at once, with the understanding that they’d be sitting out in the class to come thereafter. In the three seasons since, the Cubs strategy has been employed by many other teams, and appears to be the going-strategy for most big market clubs.

Due to those IFA limitations, though, the Cubs were largely benched during the 2014-2015 IFA season, as they were artificially limited by how much they could spend on any one player ($250,000). When the restrictions expired, though, they went right back at it, and signed many, many players, while once again exceeding their bonus pool, which means they’ll be subject to a limitation of no more than $300,000 on any one player in the next two IFA periods (a new penalty since the last time the Cubs did this), and will pay 100% in overage taxes.



When all was said and done (although, it’s not technically over yet – the current period runs through June 15), the Cubs signed 34 international free agents this period, and Baseball America has an excellent review on just about half of them here. I’ll share a little bit on the players below, but this is premium content for Baseball America, so you’ll have to visit the source to get the full rundown. Ben Badler (and Baseball America, in general) does a fantastic job of gathering and synthesizing all of this information, so reading the source material is well worth your time.

For our purposes, I’ll share details on three of the more interesting players, providing some detail on their age, size, handedness, bonus, position, background and scouting reports. There is going to be WAY more in the BA article on each player as well as far more players, overall, than I’ll share below. So, again, make sure you check it out

Aramis Ademan

  • Age: 17 years old
  • Frame: 5’10”, 150 lbs
  • Bats: Lefty
  • Bonus: $2 million
  • Postion: Shortstop
  • Background: International Prospect League
  • Scouting Report: Short swing from the left side, line-drive hitter who can work a count and uses the entire field. Although he’ll have below average power, he should be able to hit plenty of doubles.

Jonathan Sierra

  • Age: 17 years old
  • Frame: 6’3″, 190 lbs
  • Bats: Lefty
  • Bonus: $2.5 million
  • Postion: Outfield
  • Background: Dominican Prospect League
  • Scouting Report: Unlike others in the industry, the Cubs believe Sierra has advanced pitch recognition and strike-zone awareness. He’s expected to have about average power, and should play from one of the outfield corners.


Jose Albertos

  • Age: 17 years old
  • Frame: 6’1″, 185 lbs
  • Throws: Righty
  • Bonus: $1.5 million
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Background: Mexican League
  • Scouting Report: For a guy that signed for over $1 million, we haven’t heard a whole lot about Albertos, but, according to Badler, he is the top pitcher signed by the Cubs last year. With a polished combination of stuff and a feel for pitching, Albertos throws strikes and profiles well, as a future starting pitcher. He is already capable of hitting 94 MPH with his fastball and pairs that with a potentially plus slider and a changeup. Even though he is just 17, Albertos is already stateside (which is quite the compliment and challenge).

Other International Free Agents Signed by the Cubs for more than $100,000:

  • Henderson Perez (16), catcher – $1.25 million
  • Miguel Amaya (17), catcher – $1 million
  • Yonathan Perlaza (17), shortstop – $1 million
  • Kwang-Min Kwon (18), outfield – $1 million
  • Christopher Morel (16), shortstop – $800,000
  • Isaac Paredes (17), shortstop – $800,000
  • Yunior Perez (17), pitcher – $600,000
  • Brailyn Marquez (16), pitcher – $600,000
  • Jose Gutierrez (17), center fielder – $550,000
  • Luis Diaz (16), shortstop – $300,000
  • Herson Perez (19), catcher – $250,000
  • Faustino Carrera (17), pitcher – $250,000
  • Kevin Zamudio (18), catcher – $150,000
  • Javier Assad (18), pitcher – $150,000
  • Orian Nunez (17), infielder – $100,000
  • Abraham Rodriguez (17), outfielder – $100,000



Each of the players above comes with their own write-up/scouting report, in addition to some further details about their bonuses and background, so be sure to read it all here. The Cubs went hog wild once again in International Free Agency, and Baseball America has you covered on everything you need to know.

I know the regular season is just getting underway, so 16 and 17-year olds prospects aren’t the top priority, but these signings do matter. And remember, it was not too long ago that Gleyber Torres and Willson Contreras (the Cubs’ top prospects to many) were just some of the names on these lists.


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