Today marks the first day of the 2018-19 international signing period and it also marks the beginning of the end for the 2018 draft signings, as the deadline to sign most players comes this Friday.
I gave a preview of the Cubs potential targets last week and the team did indeed sign all four players mentioned as soon as the signing period opened today:
RHP Richard Gallardo - Venezuela, BA: 6th, MLB: 5th
OF Jose Lopez - Dominican Republic, BA: 27th, MLB: 16th
SS Rafael Morel - Dominican Republic, BA: 46th (Brother of Christopher Morel)
LHP Joel Machado - Venezuela, BA: 47th, MLB: 28th
They also announced the signing of a 5th player:
OF Yohendrick Pinango - Venezuela
Cubs current IFA spending cap is $4,983,500. With today's signings they have already used all but about $384K. This means the remainder of their signings will be modest (anything over $10K counts against cap) or the team will need to acquire additional cap space from other teams, which they can do in increments of $250K.
With five days remaining until the signing deadline, the only unsigned top pick is 2B Andy Weber (5th Rd). It had been oddly quiet on that front throughout the past few weeks, but we finally received an update over he weekend that Weber is expected to sign and is now in Mesa.
— Savermetrics (@Savermetrics) July 1, 2018
Weber's signing bonus will determine exactly how much the club has remaining to offer 28th Round pick Mitchell Parker. The prep lefty out of New Mexico is the Cubs final overslot target remaining unsigned from the draft. Any amount Parker receives over $125K will count against the remaining $484K the Cubs have in their bonus pool pool to sign both him and Weber. They already went above the $125K allowed on 11th rounder RHP Riley Thompson and 20th round LHP Chris Allen.
Parker is the #2 prep player out of New Mexico according to Baseball America and features a fastball that has topped out at 92, along with feel for a 12-to-6 curve and a developing changeup. He gained a lot of attention after he struck out 15 batters at the Perfect Game WWBA Championship in Florida last year.
Thompson is a hard thrower from Louisville that returned from TJS with his mid-to-upper-90s heat and plus breaking ball intact, but lack of command and consistency prevented him from producing at the level hoped from him this season. Still, the stuff is considered 1st round caliber, and the Cubs were able to convince him to go pro with a $200K bonus rather than him trying to improve his draft stock by returning to the collegiate level to pitch as a senior.
Chris Allen is another tall lefty like Parker, but rather than being a top prep, he was actually one of the top JUCO players in California, compiling a 13-0 with a 1.34 ERA, as he allowed just 67 hits (no HR) and 23/102 BB/K in 100.2 IP. He is considered a late bloomer that was scheduled to transfer to the University of Hawaii had the Cubs not convinced him to sign.