Hey There, Loophole: The Cubs *CAN* Offer Big Bonuses to Those Now Former Braves Prospects

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Hey There, Loophole: The Cubs *CAN* Offer Big Bonuses to Those Now Former Braves Prospects

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

Earlier today, MLB brought down a thunderous hammer on the Braves organization for what turned out to be pretty significant international free agency shenanigans.

The outcome involved sanctions going forward for the organization, and the effective release of 12 significant prospects that MLB determined to be ill-gotten gains, so to speak. Now those prospects are free to sign with new organizations, subject to the usual IFA rules and restrictions.

HOWEVER there is a however:

In other words, a team like the Cubs – in the penalty box until July 2, 2018 – could offer the top prospects a bonus of more than $300,000 … they just have to count it against their 2018-19 bonus pool.

So that means the Cubs could be in on, among other, shortstop Kevin Maitan (at least as much as any other team). The challenge for teams like the Cubs, though, is they usually come to understandings with top IFA prospects far in advance of the open of a new period, which means much of the Cubs’ $4.75-ish million hard-capped bonus pool for 2018-19 may already be spoken for (not to mention the fact that signing a qualified free agent like Alex Cobb will shave $500,000 off of that pool amount).

The Cubs won’t be alone in that situation, though, so who knows which teams will really be able to dig deep and find even $1 million for Maitan, outside of the organizations that still have substantial money left in the current period (each of the Yankees, Rangers, and Twins have over $3 million remaining)? And those teams might want to wait on Shohei Ohtani anyway.

So, that is to say, this could play out over a lengthy period of time. But it’s nice to know that, at a minimum, if the Cubs really want any of the newly-available former-Braves prospects, it’s technically going to be possible for the Cubs to go after them.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.