Cubs sign IF Frandy De La Rosa for 700,000, eyeing more prospects

Cubs sign IF Frandy De La Rosa for 700,000, eyeing more prospects
Frandy De La Rosa

After signing Cuban players RHP Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, OF Yasiel Balaguert, LHP Gerardo Concepcion and, officially this past weekend, OF Jorge Soler, the Cubs remain in the hunt for more talent. They opened the international free agency signing period by signing SS Frandy de la Rosa, though nobody expects him to stay there.  His arm is fringy for SS, so the 6'1", 180 lbs figures to move across the diamond as a pro.  His bat will be his ticket as he consistently squares up and makes hard contact naturally.  The 16 year old switch-hitter has a chance to be a plus bat as a 2B in the majors.  He projects to hit for average more than power.

Like many players the Cubs new front office seems to favor, De La Rosa has good mental makeup, combining intelligence and maturity to where some, including the Cubs, think he has natural leadership qualities.

The deal was for $700,000 so the Cubs have $2.2M left to spend on remaining free agents.  Here's a look at some names to keep an eye on...

  • Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP, 22, Dominican Republic:  Don't quote me on his age because Paniagua has already had a couple of contracts voided, one with the Diamondbacks, when he was known as Juan Collado and actually pitched in 2009 in the DSL as a reliever, posting a 4.66 ERA.  The Yankees then signed him last year for $1.1M and his contract was voided again.  So what's to like about Paniagua then?  Well, he throws mid 90s consistently and can touch the upper 90s.  Some like his change but there are questions about his breaking stuff and feel for pitching.  He won't be eligible again until July 19th.
  • Armando Rivero, RHP, 23, Cuba: Rivero is another power pitcher whom the Cubs have shown interest in.  Unlike Paniagua, he has 3 solid pitches. He's a thin 6'3" pitcher but can top out at 96 mph right now.  He also throws a slider and/or a curve (there is some disagreement here) and a splitter.  He was used as a reliever in Cuba,but some teams think he has a chance to start.
  • Luis Gohara, LHP, 15, Brazil: Not every team has scouted Gohara but the Cubs are one of them.  He's not eligible until he turns 16 on July 31st, but some scouts think he's the best pitcher in this class.  The Mariners, however, may have the inside track here.

Other top available players:

  • Jose Castillo, LHP, 16, Venezuela:  A big kid at 6'4" who has a live arm with an efficient, low effort delivery.
  • Wendell Rijo, SS, 16, Venezuela: An instinctual player with a good bat, I thought he seemed the type the Cubs may have been interested, but they have already signed a similar player in De La Rosa and there are some heavy hitters after Rijo (Texas, Yankees).

 

Filed under: International players

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  • Let's hope they can sign at least 1 more pitcher and hitter,
    Let the Cuban players know that the Cubs are the team
    for them.

  • Yeah, I know it's silly to talk about position need in the context of players who are 16, but I'd still like to see the Cubs add more pitchers. Prevarications notwithstanding, I like how a 22(ish?)-year-old like Paniagua would fit in the system as a guy who might be able to progress faster.

    My concern with De La Rosa, based on reports, is whether he has the range for 2B. That being said, it would be great to have at least one 2B prospect who has power potential. I don't think we have any of those in the system.

  • Hurray! I've got internet service again. It's been off and on, but I'm hoping this is finally fixed.

  • Hey John, any Soler sightings yet? Is he playing Rookie League ball this week?

  • In reply to johnnywest333:

    Should start in AZ.

  • I would LOVE if the Cubs become established in Cuba. If the Cubs can become a player in Cuba the way the Rangers are in the D.R., that would be huge!!

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    That might be the thinking. It's tough to muscle in on Texas, Toronto, and a few teams who are well established in the DR, so maybe Cuba is a way to help add some talent.

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    So we infiltrate our Latin friends into a communist country to try to convince various baseball player to defect. I'm sure Castro & friends won't have a problem with that........ lol

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    In your opinion John who has the best talent coming out in the next few years, the D.R. or Cuba.

  • In reply to Larry:

    Hard to say, but it's nice to get the talent from the DR (or Venezuela) because you get them younger and develop them under your own philosophy, Cubs have gotten players from all three countries of late.

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    Same old story for Volstad. Looked amazing going into the fifth. Then gets knocked around. I think he might be tipping pitches at some point in the game because this kind of thing just doesn't happen. The positive is cubs have nothing to lose starting him every fifth day and see if he can't get it together. Take away that one bad inning in every start and his era is below 3. His stuff is good as well so our best move is to keep taking our lumps with him.

  • Arizona Phil mentioned that he's been taking bp in Arizona, but hasn't taken the field yet.

  • Sorry, that was supposed to have been a reply to Soler's whereabouts.

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