Cubs favorites for 2 of the top 10 international free agents

Cubs favorites for 2 of the top 10 international free agents
Gleyber Torres

The Cubs are building a strong foothold in Latin America and with the second most amount of money to spend they should land a potential impact prospect or two. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, they have their eyes set on two of the top 10 international free agents this year.

The first is SS Gleyber Torres, whom we discussed back in March.  The scouts who like Torres, and we obviously have to assume the Cubs scouts are among them, feel he can stick at SS.   Torres is 5'11", 185 lbs. and doesn't have the frame to get much larger.  This is not a guy who is about pure projection, Torres already has advanced baseball skills for his age.  He has a strong arm and is  good hitter with some power potential.  The Cubs are said to be the frontrunners.

The second player is Eloy Jimenez who is a 6'4" 200 lbs. outfield prospect with big power potential.  He's more projectabl3 than Torres but has shown less in games to this point.  His swing is more conducive to groundballs than deep flys right now.  He's an above average runner who projects more to a corner spot.  Badler says he may get the highest bonus in this year's class -- in the $2.6-$2.8M range -- and that the Cubs are the heavy favorites to sign him.

Filed under: International players


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  • What is a likely timeframe for players like these to be signed?

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    International free agency period begins in the first week of July. I imagine the Cubs will sign whomever they're going to sign right around that time.

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    In reply to Holy Cattle:

    The International Signing Period for 13-14 begins on July 1. We'll see a flurry of activity more than likely shortly after that date.

    The rules are new this year; each team has a set budget for Int'l FA under age 23. Last year, everyone had $2.9 mil. This year, and every year thereafter, bonus $ will be alloted based on prior year's record. The Astros have $4.94 mil. We have $4.557 mil. Everyone else has less. Here is the full list:

    This is another big "advantage" that losing teams get under the new CBA

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Looks like the Cubs entire pool will likely go to two players. They're going for it in terms of impact players. They can still spend in volume with lesser known prospects. Looks like they're going to go for big talent than try and go volume for pitching and other areas.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Are the Astos no longer connected to Jimenez? I think people assumed they were the early favorites since they have the largest pool.

  • In reply to CubsML:

    Not according to Badler. He called the Cubs "heavy" favorites, though we know the Astros can outbid them if they want to. Doesn't seem to me that that's their plan.

  • How old is Jiminez? He's a big boy already so I'm wondering if he still has room to grow. What kind of level is the competition in the International Prospect League?

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    He's 16. He still looks gangly. Still lots of room to fill out.

    The level of competition is pretty low as compared even to the DSL and VSL. Right now you're scouting on talent and physical gifts and trying to project them on the field. Very difficult to do. Not as easy as seeing Appel and Gray dominate some of the best 21 year old players from big universities.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Speaking of the VSL, their season got underway today and the Cubs got doubled up by the Rays 22-11. No that's not a typo.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Yeah. Not a good start, but hard to get to excited one way or the other over VSL/DSL results.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh, totally. The performances of most of these guys means nothing because their so young and have so much development left. If someone shows consistent high level performance and stands out from the bunch like Candelario and Penalver did two years back, it's fun to track, but even then their performance has to be taken with a grain of salt because the level of competition is so low. These leagues are more like an agreement to let guys play against each other so they can develop and their scouts can watch them in a competitive situation.

    I just the thought the score was awesome.

  • We can only hope that whoever the team lands, their papers are all in order, unlike Bread & Water.

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    For Eloy Jiminez, the new CBA will limit his options, if that $2.6-2.8 mil estimate is correct

    Only 9 teams even have $2.8 mil in their entire bonus pool, and no team is likely to blow it all on one player. Thus, the list of Cubs suitors is likely to be small for him; just the "top" teams (which are the bottom from last year)

    Under this system, we're guaranteed at least 1 top-10 talent, and probably #1 or #2 if we ONLY get one in the top 10

  • Torres would be great. The Cubs already have a ton of middle infield depth throughout the organization, and getting more only makes the front office's job easier.

    Who knows, maybe St. Louis's total inability to develop a shortstop will net the Cubs one of those power arms they seem to have an endless supply of.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Always get middle infielders. They can either move (as long as they can hit) or they're great trade assets.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If some of those kids start to pan out, it makes things real interesting for teams with SS depth problems. There's currently six MLB shortstop who qualify for the batting title with an OPS below .650.

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    Where are these guys from? I hope they are part of that new facility we have in the DR. I'd like to think our money was well spent down there.

    Just wondering......

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I think the recent CBA made the new facility kind of irrelevant as far as attracting new talent.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I had been thinking the same thing. Makes me wonder if the GMs and owners of the teams like these rules and would be willing to change them in the next CBA.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    It certainly lessened the impact but I think it's still a draw. If you have two teams offering similar money but one had superior facilities that could make it easier to succeed, it could be the difference. Right now, the Cubs have the most money to spend with the best facilities since teams like the Rangers and Yankees are toward the bottom of the pool.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Sorry, should have written that in. Torres is from VZ, in fact he's from a region that the Cubs scout very well. And Jimenez is from the DR.

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    If both them are allowed to enter the country we're already doing better than last season. Score!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Ha! We don't need that again. No fraud far as we know.

  • Can teams trade international cap space as well? It would be great for the Cubs to dominate this year in terms of signing a significant amount of top level international talent.

  • In reply to gocubsgo:

    Yes, they can and the Cubs have been rumored to be one of the team's seeking to trade for some.

  • In reply to gocubsgo:

    Yes, they can trade for a portion of another team's international pool.

  • Look forward to see how our international spending shakes out with the new CBA, and stadium revenue. Our team would look completely different if we had the money to land both Cespedes and Darvish, that'd be awesome. John, you think if Jose Abreu ever makes the jump to MLB, we'd be in? I understand he doesn't fill a need for us, but it seems his potential is immense.

  • In reply to HowlinWolf:

    I think the Cubs will be in on any potential impact player like Abreu. And I think next time they're going all in.

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