Chicago Cubs outfield prospect Yonathan Perlaza was about as on the fence for a 40-man roster spot as a player can be. On the one hand, the 25-year-old switch-hitter hit .284/.389/.534/130 wRC+ at Triple-A this year with really solid peripherals. On the other hand, the defense might not play at any position, and that kind of bat-only pressure means he was going to have to take significant steps forward to put up those kinds of numbers against big league pitching.
Ultimately, the Cubs decided not to roster Perlaza, which mean he became a minor league free agent. We knew he would be one of the more sought-after minor league free agents out there, and it turns out he was. So sought after, that he’s actually going to make MORE money than if he’d just gotten an MLB 40-man roster spot.
Perlaza is headed to Korea to make some money:
Good for him, man. I imagine he and his reps looked around to see if there was a 40-man spot out there for him, and if not, this was an opportunity to play at the highest level in another country and make real money while he can. Also pretty cool that he’s going to be the youngest foreign player in the KBO this year – must’ve been an extremely compelling target.
My guess is that Perlaza will rake, make himself a really nice chunk of cash the next few years in Korea, and then we’ll see if he ever attempts to come back to the States. Best of luck to him!