Feliz Navidad

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  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 RHPin 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). 

 

Comments

BA transactions lists Fernando Cruz RHP as also being signed. He was released earlier by the Royals.

HAGSAG: 24-year old RHP Fernando Cruz was released by the Royals in 2013 after being converted from a 3B to RHP in 2011, after a previous conversion to catcher failed. (He was drafted as an infielder by KC out of Puerto Rico in 2007). Cruz did not pitch in either 2013 or 2014 (he spent the entire 2013 season on the 60-day DL), but he has been one of the best relievers (so far) with Santurce in la Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (the Puerto Rican Winter League), where he is a teammate of Javy Baez (which is probably how the Cubs noticed him). 

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 25 min ago (view)

    I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.

    However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team

     

  • crunch 3 hours 2 min ago (view)

    wtf...

    is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021?  ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 32 min ago (view)

    This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!

    (And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)

     

  • Hagsag 6 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Shocker!

     

  • Wrigley Rat 12 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&so...

     

  • Charlie 16 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 43 min ago (view)

    DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point

     

  • waveland 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

    Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.