The Cubs acquired/signed two Mexican players last week, 18-year old 2B Carlos Sepulveda and 19-year old RHP Jesus Camargo.
Both played for league champion Diablos de Hermosillo of la Liga Norte de Sonora (the top Mexican professional developmental league) this past season.
Camargo made a brief cameo appearance with Diablos Rojos del Mexico at the very end of the Mexican League season in August, and Sepulveda was the #1 draft pick of Naranjeros de Hermosillo (and the #1 overall pick) in the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (Mexican Pacific League) draft this past summer.
The Cubs had previously signed 16-year old Mexican League RHP Hector Garcia in September, after acquiring the rights to the teenager from Leones de Yucatan.
The bonuses paid to the three players has not yet been reported, but because they blew past their 2013-14 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) limit by more than 15%, the Cubs are prohibited from giving any international player subject to ISBP limits a signing bonus in excess of $250K during the 2014-15 International Signing Period (ISP). The 2014-15 ISP concludes on June 15th, and then after a "quiet" period of 16 days when no international players subject to ISBP restrictions may be signed, the 2015-16 ISP commences on July 2nd.
The Cubs had maintained only a token presence in Mexico in previous years, going as far as "loaning" one or two players to clubs in the Mexican League during the minor league season (most-recently RHP Frank Batista, RHP Yoanner Negrin, and C Sergio Burruel), and inviting a couple of young pitchers from the Mexican League Tijuana club (LHP Marco Tovar and RHP Alan Guerrero) to Instructs post-2007 on an "exchange" program (Cubs had the option to purchase one or both pitchers, but ultimately declined).
Unlike the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, Mexico is generally considered to be a "football" (soccer)-first country that does not emphasize beisbol much at the elementary school level, but there are several decent prospects in Mexico every year, and the Cubs might as well try to sign them.
Most Mexican players are under contract to and are on the Reserve List of a team in the Mexican League, and so when a Mexican player who is reserved by a Mexican League club signs with an MLB organization, a portion of the player's signing bonus is paid to the player's Mexican League club to release the player from his contract (making the deal a sort of cash purchase by the MLB club). It is very similar to what happens when a Japanese (NPB) club signs a player reserved by an MLB organization (as happened in recent years with Micah Hoffpauir, Bobby Scales, and Bryan LaHair), with the MLB organization receiving a cash payment from the NPB club in return for releasing the player from his contract.
Very few Mexican players sign directly with an MLB organization, and the ones who do are banned from playing in either the Mexican League or Mexican Pacific League.
The Mexican League is a part of Minor League Baseball, but it operates as an "independent" league and is not subject to losing players or selecting players the Rule 5 Draft, although players can be loaned or even sent outright to or purchased from Mexican League clubs by MLB organizations.
The Mexican League is really an "A"-ball league, but it is classified as "AAA" because back in the day, players in the Mexican League were subject to selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft, and designating the Mexican League "AAA" meant that Mexican League players subject to selection could only be selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (with the higher $50,000 draft price, and so that a drafted player could eventually be re-claimed by his former Mexican League club if the player did not make the drafting club's MLB 25-man roster).
JustSayin' 2 days 12 hours ago (view)
I hear you but welcome to the world of Theo. The team is always a step or two away from the World Series in his mind, whether that is true or not. Therefore, the thing to do on the margin is to trade top prospects or younger guys on the roster for that missing puzzle piece, not build for the future. I had a front-row seat for this as a Red Sox fan. If Pedro Martinez doesn't insist the Red Sox sign David Ortiz for table scraps and Chris Bryant isn't the no-brainer second pick in the draft, we'd all be wondering what happened to that Theo guy who was in the Red S
Cubster 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
Shogo Akiyama is a lefty bat, career BA at.301 w/ Seibu Lions. Recent OBPs: .419, .385, .398, .403 and .392. HR 20-15 in last 3 seasons Stolen bases, 12 in 2019, 18 in best season (2016). Defense supposedly plus-plus, 7-10 assists (10 in 2016). Clearly a leadoff hitter.
crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
christian yelich committed internet homicide on yu darvish...
Charlie 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
Little in the offseason could make me happier than the Cubs finding ways to retain the good MLB players who came up with them while remaining competitive. This Javy extension talk makes me much happier as a fan than the Bryant and Contreras trade talk.
crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
"Javy Baez. The two-time All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up already has begun negotiations on a potential long-term extension with the Cubs, according to sources."
also, some talk of being linked to shogo akiyama (CF, Japan, 32yo in April)
crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)
j.odorizzi accepted his qualifying offer (17.8m) from MIN...so did j.abreu (CWS)....everyone else is gonna play the FA market.
w.smith (SF) immediately signed with the braves for 3/39 (13m team option/1m buyout on the backend). braves lose a 2nd round pick...which they'll probably get back when someone signs j.donaldson.
crunch 5 days 6 hours ago (view)
it's not like i think he's something special, but if he had 5mph more on his stuff he'd probably be a top prospect in the system combined with his command/control. he's got highly repeatable junk and he's still young enough there might be a little more velocity to discover.
Arizona Phil 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: As long as Carrera is placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 he should be safe from selection, and I would say he is in fact close to a lock to be placed on the Iowa roster.
Presuming he is on the Iowa reserve list going into the Rule 5 Draft, I doubt very much that he would get selected in the Major League Phase because he hasn't pitched above Lo-A.
crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
i'm low-key keeping an eye on faustino carrera if he's not protected...which he may not be protected.
he throws junk, but he throws it well, and with great control.
Arizona Phil 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
I've talked to Player Development people over the past many years about the Rule 5 Draft and how an organization goes about deciding whether to protect or not protect a player from selection.
STEP 1: How many of your Rule 5 Draft-eligible players are actually legit candidates to get selected in the Major League Phase?. Usually there a dozen or more who could conceivably/realisticaly get selected. You need to identify them and then carefully evaluate them.
EXAMPLES: See my lists above.
crunch 5 days 13 hours ago (view)
"There are no untouchables," Epstein said.
In truth, the Cubs boss has said the same every year, but it certainly sounds like he means it this time. "We're in the 'information collecting' stages of the process," one general manager put it on Tuesday.
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 15 hours ago (view)
I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.
That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.
crunch 1 week 7 hours ago (view)
i wonder where the cubs will go with things.
there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone. as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team. the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.
bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...
Hagsag 1 week 8 hours ago (view)
Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!
crunch 1 week 8 hours ago (view)
"According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."
by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him. i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.
Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)
Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.