Cubs Expected to Sign Two of FanGraphs' Top International Prospects

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Cubs Expected to Sign Two of FanGraphs’ Top International Prospects

Chicago Cubs

If you can indulge The Distant Future for a moment – while setting aside the imminent future of an uncertain offseason result … – FanGraphs just released its 2023 International Free Agent class rankings and prospect values.

As you can see, the Cubs come in attached to two of the top 28 prospects (i.e., the 40 FV or better group): Dominican shortstop Derniche Valdez, ranked 13th (40+ FV), and Venezuelan shortstop Ludwig Espinoza, ranked 28th (40 FV).

If you recognize the names, that’s because these are among the prospects the Cubs are “expected” to sign to significant bonuses when the next IFA period opens on January 15. They have previously been ranked over at Baseball America (Valdez 11th, Espinoza 20th) and at MLB Pipeline (Valdez 6th, Espinoza 14th, and also Dominican shortstop Angel Cepeda 19th).

Obviously ranking 15 and 16-year-old international prospects is a WILDLY imprecise thing, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on the precise numbers. Instead, it’s just worth noting that all of the services see the Cubs getting multiple top 20ish prospects in the class, which seems a pretty good haul for a club that necessarily is afforded one of the smallest bonus pools. Because of their market size, the hard-capped bonus pool with which the Cubs have to work in International Free Agency is always going to be among the smaller ones. For this class, it’s $5,284,000 for the Cubs (and Cardinals, for what that’s worth). Some of the teams ahead of the Cubs include the Pirates (about $5.8 million), Reds (about $6.4 million), and Brewers (about $6.4 million).


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Author: Brett Taylor

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