Increasingly, when FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel writes about international scouting and operations – well, anything really – it’s something you’re going to want to read.
So it is with his latest on a variety of international topics of note, including teams’ spending plans, penalties, and future international signing structures. Give it a read, because this stuff is of particular importance to the Chicago Cubs.
Three pieces to highlight:
- McDaniel suggests that, however long it takes for Cuban star Yoan Moncada to be unblocked by the U.S. Government so he can sign with an MLB team (the impact of the recent revelation about U.S./Cuban relations is still unknown), it’s probably not going to be after June, which is how long the Cubs would need him to wait for them to have a shot thanks to the penalties they’re currently under for blowing their budget last year.* Instead, McDaniel says the expectation right now is that Moncada will wind up either with the Yankees or the Red Sox within the next few months.
- But don’t get too weepy for the Cubs – even if they don’t land Moncada, McDaniel reiterates, in the strongest possible terms, that the Cubs are expected to blow out their budget again this next spending period. Because of the way these deals all work together and are typically lined up far in advance, if McDaniel keeps hearing that the Cubs are going to blow their budget, there’s a pretty good chance they will. And, because of the way you can accumulate extra talent when utilizing this approach well (and if you’re willing to pay the tax), I highly endorse the Cubs going after it.
- Note that the penalties for blowing your IFA budget have changed from when the Cubs did it last year. Now, instead of one year of restrictions, there are two years of restrictions (can’t sign a player for more than $300,000) if you blow through your pool into the highest penalty region. HOWEVA, most now believe that an international draft will be implemented after the 2016 CBA expires, which means the Cubs may actually be penalized only one year, because the draft would kick in for that second year (unless it’s written into the CBA that teams currently under the penalty lose, for example, their first round pick – entirely possible). In any case, the real point is that, if an international draft does kick in after 2016, then the Cubs will have only one more shot to go hog wild on any and every player they want – either in the 2015/’16 class, or the 2016/’17 class. It sounds like they’re doing it in ’15/’16.
*(Man, that was a crazy long sentence. I’m looking at the clauses, though, and it’s not a run-on. Though technically a grammatically correct sentence, it doesn’t necessarily make for good writing. You should really break it up when a sentence becomes that long. But I’ve already written it, and now this behind-the-curtain look at the needless machinations rolling around my noggin as I edit.)