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).
crunch 3 hours 34 min ago (view)
cole hamels continues to suck.
3.1, 4.1, 3.1 innings his last 3 starts. he hasn't been the same since coming back after his july injury rest.
crunch 4 hours 30 min ago (view)
so far so good...
it's kinda frightening that schwarb in LF is a better option than schwarb playing 1st with rizzo out. i wonder how bad it really is...
crunch 7 hours 18 min ago (view)
zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini (1st) / heyward / hoe / ham
crunch 7 hours 21 min ago (view)
rizzo to wear a boot for 5-7 days then they'll see where it goes from there.
Charlie 8 hours 14 min ago (view)
It makes sense, for sure. I'm more concerned about the Brewers than the Nats, though. The optimal outcome would be Cubs sweep, Nats sweep, Brewers get swept. Can't pass the Nats that way, but can take the division lead and put the Brewers further back.
Odds on that (using Fangraphs #s):
Cubs sweep: 24.6%
Cubs sweep and Cards get swept: 4.9%
Cubs sweep, Cards get swept, Brewers get swept: 0.29%
I can dream.
bradsbeard 10 hours 6 min ago (view)
I just want whatever will maximize the odds of the playoffs. The Cubs have the opportunity to take care of the Cards themselves. Ideally there is still a wild card slot for them if they can’t.
Charlie 10 hours 22 min ago (view)
Absolutely agree. Winning the division is both much better for playoff progression chances *and* far more satisfying than coming in second to the Cards. I root for whatever gets them closest to that at this point.
Dolorous Jon Lester 10 hours 46 min ago (view)
Gotta root against StL. I don’t want a wild card appearance. I don’t like our chances at home vs Scherzer, Strasburg, or Corbin a whole lot more than I do in Washington.
bradsbeard 11 hours 33 min ago (view)
I’d almost feel better if the Cards took 2 of 3 from the Nats. If the Cubs sweep, they'd be just 1 game back of the Cards and a half game up on the Nats.
Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 9 min ago (view)
Even worse for StL. 7 vs Cubs, 3 vs Nationals
The fate of Cubs and Cardinals season is going to come down to 7 games against one another. Cubs gotta win 5 if they want to win division I think. Good thing 4 of 7 are at Wrigley.
crunch 15 hours 22 min ago (view)
13 games left for CHC...7 vs STL
13 games left for MIL...all vs teams under .500 (SD, PIT, CIN, COL)
buckle up...it's gonna be a "fun" couple of weeks.
Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 45 min ago (view)
The way MIL is playing makes me... uneasy. Too bad we didn’t bury them. Especially because they won’t play anyone with a winning record from here on out.
That said, much as I LOATHE the team and fans at Wrigley North, I’d still rather see them take the division than the shitbirds.
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
bote really needs to overcome his weird habbit of trying to duck under high/inside pitches rather than leaning out of them.
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
47 cubs runs in this 3 game series...14 HRs.
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
STL up by 1...MIL with 2 outs, bases loaded, top 9th.
r.braun grand slam. MIL leads by 3.
barring some crazy comebacks, STL's lead should shrink to 2 games.
crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
sprained right ankle for rizzo...xray showed no break...MRI tomorrow