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).
Eric S 3 hours 33 min ago (view)
Credit to Mills bouncing back strong - fifth straight quality start by the rotation certainly helps things. Yu for the series win tomorrow
crunch 3 hours 37 min ago (view)
schwarber in the bottom 10th! walkoff homer.
Jackstraw 3 hours 48 min ago (view)
Throws strikes like Chatwood. Holds runners like Darvish.
Eric S 3 hours 56 min ago (view)
This smells like a Chatwood game.
Eric S 3 hours 58 min ago (view)
Almora - what a tool non-play there.
crunch 4 hours 12 min ago (view)
phew...kimbrel is fresh off taking a half season away from the game, but im ready for a bit less drama out of his appearances.
crunch 4 hours 16 min ago (view)
lorenzen is low-key one of the most exciting players in the game, seriously. he's fun on the mound, at the plate, and baserunning.
Eric S 4 hours 20 min ago (view)
Well that settles it: Lorenzen is a better base runner than Brach. Brach haint got nuttin’
crunch 4 hours 20 min ago (view)
rizzo's power outage has been a little alarming. it seems to be bad luck more than anything obvious, though.
Eric S 4 hours 29 min ago (view)
Near warning track power Rizzo not nearly as fun as home run derby Rizzo
Eric S 4 hours 40 min ago (view)
More rare sighting in last few weeks: a Descalso plate appearance or a Rizzo home run? Descalso PA wins by an eyelash
Descalso actually had one his better at bats (even though he should have been rung up on a missed strike three) — a line drive one hopper to the shortstop
crunch 5 hours 4 min ago (view)
they're celebrating the 69 cubs at the park tonight.
they had a bunch of vets (led by billy williams) do the 7th along with a video edited together of ernie banks + ron santo singing the 7th so they could all sing along. great touch.
crunch 5 hours 28 min ago (view)
montgomery is going to be used as a SP for KC. good for him.
also, a.mills has calmed down into a hell of a nice welcome back start. he's back on my xmas card list.
crunch 6 hours 44 min ago (view)
31 pitches, 3 HBP by mills...and only 3 runs given up in 1.2ip so far!
crunch 7 hours 1 min ago (view)
okay, im done with alec mills.
crunch 7 hours 8 min ago (view)
almora picks up a career highlight reel catch in CF.
even heyward was pumped.