Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Cubs busy in international market
By Joe Stiglich
Special to ESPNChicago.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A busy Tuesday continues for the Chicago Cubs, and not all of it has to do with the major league club.
They reportedly have deals in place to sign the top two international free agents available, though the team has yet to confirm any signings and likely won’t for a couple of days.
It was reported earlier Tuesday that Chicago had agreed to terms with Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres, a 16-year-old ranked as the No. 2 international prospect by Baseball America. MLB.com reported Tuesday evening that the Cubs will also sign consensus No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic.
Terms of Jimenez’s deal aren’t known, and it often takes several days before the paperwork is finalized for international player signings.
Major league teams have increasingly tapped into the international amateur free agent market in recent years, and July 2 is the annual start date of the international signing period. The Cubs acquired approximately $963,000 of additional international bonus money space through trades made Tuesday and obviously view the idea of adding top young international players as critical in their rebuilding efforts.
Torres reportedly will be given a $1.7 million bonus.
Here’s part of Torres’ scouting report from Baseball America’s Ben Badler:
“Torres is a savvy player with present skills and the potential for five average or better tools. He has a clean, compact stroke … and shows good power projection, although he mostly works the gaps right now. … Some scouts believe Torres is a true shortstop, while others think he’s not athletic enough. He could end up being a guy who splits time between shortstop, third base and second base, with a skill set that draws comparisons to Freddy Sanchez.”