Minor League News and Notes

International Signings

News of the Cubs the Cubs international signings is beginning to trickle in. Earlier in the summer we reported on the signing of two top prospects signed out of Mexico, pitcher Florencio Serrano and infielder Luis Verdugo. The Cubs are limited to a maximum signing bonus of 300K this season, but the rules are slightly different for Mexican prospects that are already the property of professional ball clubs in that country. The Cubs are able to dedicate the money necessary to buy the players out of their contracts with their current clubs as long as the bonus to the players themselves does not exceed their 300K limit.

Yesterday, the Cubs signed another player with pro experience, this time from Cuba. Twenty year old catcher Alexander Guerra played in the Serie Nacional, beginning as a 17-year old in 2015 (.152/.219/.248 in 49 games), then making big strides at the plate as an 18 year old the following year (.267/.375/.465). He did not play last season after defecting. Given his age and prior experience it seems likely that Guerra will begin next season with a full season affiliate despite his time away last season.

As always, Arizona Phil is on top of it all, and has a list of the 25 players the Cubs have signed as part of this class over at The Cub Reporter.

Minor League Re-signings

I also wanted to catch everyone up on a few re-signings the Cubs have made since the season ended among the list of Minor League free agents scheduled to hit the open market this offseason.

So far, pitchers Jose Rosario, Justin Hancock, Daury Torrez, James Pugliese and Pedro Araujo have chosen to re-up with the club. The first four figure to challenge for spots in the Iowa bullpen. Araujo meanwhile, is likely ticketed for Tennessee to begin the year, but the club rewarded him with a spot in the Arizona Fall League where a good performance. If he follows that with a strong spring training it might make any stay in the Southern League a short one for the 24-year old reliever. All five will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this December if they are not added to the 40 man roster, whichis extremely unlikely for all of them. Free agent pitchers that remain unsigned at this moment include PCL saves leader Matt Carasiti and his Iowa teammates Scott Carroll (a late season fill in) and former big leaguer Williams Perez.

On the position player end, the Cubs have brought back catchers Ali Solis, Erick Castillo and Alberto Mineo, shortstop Carlos Penalver, utility man Gioskar Amaya and outfielder Jeffrey Baez. As with the re-signed pitchers, each will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Outfielders John Andreoli, Ryan Kalish and Trey Martin remain unsigned, as well as infielders Chris Dominguez, Elliot Soto, Jemile Weeks and Ozzie Martinez.

Comments

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  • Whoa Michael! Plugging away at 4:10 in the morning!!!

  • In reply to Otto 2016:

    Ha. Wrote it yesterday. There is an option to publish at later date/time. Chose early so it would be up before A. Brunch

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    Good work Michael! Remind me again, how many players can each team lose in the rule 5 draft? I thought it's only 1 or 2 but might be wrong. Are there any of these players that you feel the Cubs should protect?
    Thanks again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    There is no limit.

    I briefly covered the players I expect to be added to 40 man in the roster breakdown articles earlier this week (Alzolay, De La Cruz, Bote, maybe Clifton, maybe one of Young/Vosler).

    Think there is a chance they lose Vosler or Burks. Clifton situation is weird. If another team sees a way to fix him they would jump all over him if he is available.

    Guy I'm actually a bit concerned about is Erling Moreno. Hasn't been consistent or able to stay healthy, but if a team took him I could easily see him not sucking as a mop up guy in a pen. His control and command are better than most A Ballers. Jose Paulino in similar situation, but less upside.

    I'm not sure how many teams will be tanking this year.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    What is his upside if it ls short of "not sucking as a pop-up guy"?
    I don't mean this as a smart comment. To me pop-up guy is pretty .Much 25th/26th guy on the roster.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That would just be his 2018 outlook.

    He has MOR upside, he is just not anywhere near ready for that workload, and with making jump from MWL you would want/need to stash him.

    If I was a rebuilding team I would be more likely to take a chance on an arm like that than a more polished, but lower ceiling reliever.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Got it. I misunderstood. Thanks.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    A pop up guy is a new role in the bullpen as pop ups are more sure outs than groundballs and often lead to soft contact. LOL.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    Still can't type worth a damn on my phone. Gotta be careful with pop-up guys as a mistake of 1/4" results in a catch by "The 10th Man"

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I assume you mean, intentionally tanking. ;)

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