Cubs 2019-20 International Signing Period (J-2 Players)

2/25 UPDATE

So far the Cubs have signed 19 J-2 IFA in the 2019-20 ISP, but they have not signed any since December. 

The top signings so far are C Ronnier Quintero, SS Kevin Made, C Brayan Altuve, and OF Anderson Suriel (see full list below). 

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1/27 UPDATE
:

The Cubs have officially signed their 19th 2019-20 IFA:

Frank Hernandez
, RHP/OF (two-way player)
R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18 
SPAIN

The 18-year old Hernandez (he turns 19 next month) was the star (OF & RHP) of the Spanish 18U team that played for the World Cup in South Korea last summer, and he is the first player ever signed by the Cubs out of Spain.

He has been assigned to DSL Cubs #2 (Future Service Contract - signed 2020 contract) and is being officially carried as a pitcher on the DSL Cubs #2 roster, although he was signed as a "two-way player."  

NOTE: Hernandez was signed prior to January 1st so he can be carried as a "Future Services Player" (and thus not count against the DSL Cubs Blue reserve list limit until DSL Opening Day). Although Hernandez was signed about a month ago, the filing of his contract and the required approval by MLB was delayed because the MLB office was closed for two weeks over Christmas - New Year's. 

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12/9 UPDATE

The Cubs have officially signed seven more 2019-20 IFA: 

Gregoris Carrasquel, RHP 
R/R, 6'3 178, Age 20 
VENEZUELA 

Anthony Martinez, RHP 
R/R, 6'3 175, Age 19 
DOMNICAN REPUBLIC  

Anthony Mendez, RHP 
R/R, 6'1 180, Age 17 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  

Gleiber Morales, RHP  
R/R, 5'10 165, Age 17 
VENEZUELA  

Oliver Roque, RHP 
R/R, 6'3 180, Age 17  
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

Dilan Granadillo, C 
B/R, 5'9 175, Age 18 
VENEZUELA  

Anderson Suriel
, OF 
L/L, 6'1 175, Age 16 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

All seven were "Signed for Future Service" (signed 2020 contract) and were assigned to DSL Cubs #1.  

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10/30 UPDATE
:

The Cubs officially signed three more 2019-20 J-2 IFA:

Brayan Altuve, C 
R/R, 511 160, Age 16 
VENEZUELA 
$1M signing bonus 

Gabriel Disla, OF 
R/R, 5'11 165, Age 18 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

Edgar Mercedes, RHP 
R/R, 6'8 190, Age 18 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

Al three were "Signed for Future Service" (signed 2020 contract) and were assigned to DSL Cubs #1. 
 
So the Cubs have signed eleven J-2 IFA (so far) in the 2019-20 ISP that began on July 2nd (see complete list-to-date below). 


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9/26 UPDATE

The Cubs have officially signed five more 2019-20 J-2 IFA: 

Jose Acila, P
R/R, 5'11 170, Age 19 
VENEZUELA  

Leury Gomez, P 
R/R, 6'2 160, Age 17 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Luis Maza, SS 
L/R, 5'10 150, Age 16 
VENEZUELA 

Robinson Rodriguez, P 
R/R, 6'2 190, Age 19 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

Albaro Santana, P 
R/R, 6'2 190, Age 19 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

All five were "Signed for Future Service" (signed 2020 contract) and were assigned to DSL Cubs #2. 

The signing bonuses have not yet been reported. 


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8/5 UPDATE

The Cubs have signed their third 2019-20 J-2 IFA: 

Dawel Rodriguez, P
R/R, 6'3 200, Age 20
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

Unlike Made and Quintero, D. Rodriguez was not "Signed for Future Service," so he will likely be activated prior to the conclusion of the DSL season. 

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7/2 UPDATE

The Cubs have officially signed their first two 2019-20 J-2 IFA: 

Kevin Made, SS 
R/R, 6'1 160, Age 16 
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  
$1.5M signing bonus 

Ronnier Quintero, C 
L/R, 6'0 175.Age 16
VENEZUELA 
$2.9M signing bonus 

Both were "Signed for Future Service" (signed 2020 contracts) and were assigned to DSL Cubs #1, so they will not be making their pro debuts until sometime next year. 


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INTERNATIONAL FREE-AGENTS SIGNED BY CUBS IN 2019-20 INTERNATIONAL SIGNING PERIOD

Last updated 1-27-2020 

* bats or throws left 
# bats both

NOTE: Age listed is the player's age when he signed 

PITCHERS: (12)
Jose Acila (age 19) - VENEZUELA - 5'11 170 - SIGNED SEPTEMBER 2019
Gregoris Carrasquel (age 17) - VENEZUELA - 6'3 178 - SIGNED NOVEMBER 2019 
Leury Gomez (age 17) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'2 160 - SIGNED SEPTEMBER 2019 
Frank Hernandez (age 18) - SPAIN - 5'11 180 - SIGNED DECEMBER 2019 
Anthony Martinez (age 19) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'3 175 - SIGNED NOVEMBER 2019  
Anthony Mendez (age 17) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'3 190 - SIGNED NOVEMBER 2019 
Edgar Mercedes (age 18) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'8 190 - SIGNED OCTOBER 2019  
Gleiber Morales (age 17) - VENEZUELA - 510 165 - SIGNED DECEMBER 2019 
Dawel Rodriguez (age 20) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'3 200 - SIGNED AUGUST 2019 
Robinson Rodriguez (age 19) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'2 190 - SIGNED SEPTEMBER 2019 
Oliver Roque (age 17) - DOMINICAN EREPUBLIC - 6'3 180 - SIGNED NOVEMBER 2019 
Albaro Santana (age 19) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'2 190 - SIGNED SEPTEMBER 2019 

CATCHERS: (3)
Brayan Altuve (age 16) - VENEZUELA - 5'11 160 - SIGNED OCTOBER 2019
* Dilan Granadillo (age 18) - VENEZUELA - 5'9 175 - SIGNED NOVEMBER 2019  
* Ronnier Quintero (age 16) - VENEZUELA - 6'0 175 - SIGNED JULY 2019

INFIELDERS: (2)
Kevin Made (age 16) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 6'1 160 - SIGNED JULY 2019 
* Luis Maza (age 16) - VENEZUELA - 5'10 150 - SIGNED SEPTEMBER 2019 

OUTFIELDERS: (2)
Gabriel Disla (age 18) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 5'11 165 -  SIGNED OCTOBER 2019 
* Anderson Suriel (age 16) - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC -  6'1 175 - SIGNED NOVEMNER 2019
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7/1 ORIGINAL POST


The "International Signing Period" (ISP) extends from July 2nd through June 15th of the following year. No international player can be signed during the period of time extending from June 16th through July 1st.

Any individual who is age 17 or older, has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract, resides outside the U. S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U. S., Canada, or Puerto Rico within the previous year, can be signed during the "International Signing Period." Also, a 16-year old international player can be signed if the individual will turn 17 prior to September 1st or prior to the conclusion of the regular season of the minor league club to which the player is assigned (whichever comes first).
NOTE: These players are sometimes referred to as "J-2 players," because they can be signed beginning on July 2nd ("J-2"). 

An international player can be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a contract during the period of time starting on July 2nd up through December 31st.

In addition, a 16-year old international player who otherwise would not be eligible to sign can be "Signed for Future Service" (that is, contract is for the following season) if the player signs a contract July 2nd through August 31st.


INTERNATIONAL SIGNING BONUS POOL 

There is a maximum limit on the aggregate amount of money each MLB club can pay as signing bonuses to international first-year players.

1. Each MLB club is assigned an "International Signing Bonus Pool" (ISBP) prior to the start of the International Signing Period (ISP). 

2019-20 ISP: 
$6,481,200 for MLB clubs that have selections in Competitive Balance Round "B" (between the 2nd & 3rd rounds) of the MLB Rule 4 Draft;
$5,939,800 for MLB clubs that have selections in Competitive Balance Round "A" (between the 1st & 2nd rounds) of the MLB Rule 4 Draft; 
$5,398,300 for all other MLB clubs (including the Cubs). 

2. Any signing bonus of $10,000 or less does not count toward a club's ISBP limit. 

3. An MLB club (excluding clubs that receive CBT revenue sharing and MLB Rule 4 Competitive Balance draft picks) that signs an Article XX-B Qualified Player (not including its own Qualified Players) will have $500,000 subtracted from its assigned International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) in the next full International Signing Period (ISP) for each Qualified Player signed, and an MLB club that is a Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) payor (club's payroll from the previous season exceeded the CBT threshold) would have $1,000,000 subtracted from its ISBP in the next ISP for each Qualified Player signed. (The Competitive Balance Tax threshold is $195M in 2017, $197M in 2018, $206M in 2019, $208M in 2020, and $210M in 2021).
NOTE: The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies had their 2019-20 ISBP reduced by $500K and the Washington Nationals had their 2019-20 ISBP reduced by $1M as the result of signing post-2018 MLB Article XX-B Qualified Players (and because the Nationals exceeded the CBT threshold in 2018, they had their 2019-20 ISBP reduced by $1M). 

4. A club cannot exceed its assigned ISBP plus a maximum additional 60% of its assigned ISBP that might be acquired via trade or trades. 

5. A club can carry-over up to $400K in ISBP space from one ISP to the next ISP if a contract or contracts signed by a player or players is/are voided after the conclusion of the ISP during which the contract or contracts was/were signed. The amount of ISBP space carried-over from the previous ISP must match the amount of ISBP space that was deducted from the club's ISBP after the player or players signed their contracts. If the amount of ISBP space deducted exceeded $400K, the amount of ISBP space in excess of $400K that is carried-over to the next ISP will be divided up into 29 equal amounts and added to the ISBP of the other 29 MLB clubs. 
NOTE: A club's right to carry-over ISBP space from one ISP to the next ISP only applies to contracts that are voided as the result of the player failing his physical or being unable to obtain a visa to the U. S. or if an investigation by the MLB Commissioner determines the player falsified his age and/or identity prior to signing the contract. It does not apply to contracts voided by the MLB Commissioner as a result of a rules violation by the club.

5. The MLB Commissioner can order a club to forfeit up to 50% of its assigned ISBP from one or more ISP and/or one or more player contract(s) can be voided if it is determined that a club and/or a player or players attempted to circumvent the international signing bonus rules.


ISBP RESTRICTIONS/EXCEPTIONS

1. A international first-year player subject to ISBP restrictions cannot be signed to a Major League contract.

2. A player age 25 or older who has spent all or part of at least six seasons playing in an MLB-recognized foreign professional or "major" league is considered to be a "Foreign Professional" player. A "Foreign Professional" is not subject to ISBP international first-year player restrictions and can sign a Major League or minor league contract with any MLB organization without restriction. A signing bonus paid to a "Foreign Professional" does - NOT - count against the club’s ISBP.
NOTE: Beginning with the 2018-19 ISP, any "Foreign Professional" player under contract to a Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (Mexican League) club can sign a Major League or minor league contract with any MLB organization after the conclusion of the LMB season (including post-season), or (with consent of the player's LMB club) during the LMB season. If an MLB club signs an LMB player with "Foreign Professional" player status, the MLB club must pay the LMB club a one-time release fee equal to 15% of the total value of the contract if the player signs a Major League contract or 35% of the total value of the contract if the player signs a minor league contract. No release fee would be paid by the MLB club if the player's contract has expired or if the contract had been terminated by the LMB club prior to the MLB club offering a contract to the player.     

3. A player under contract to a Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (Mexican League) club who has not yet reached "Foreign Professional" player status may sign a minor league contract with an MLB organization - IF - the LMB club agrees to release the player so that he can sign with the MLB club. The Mexican League club would receive a one-time release fee equal to 35% of the total value of the contract (by rule an international player who is not yet a "Foreign Professional" cannot sign a Major League contract). The release fee paid by an MLB club to an LMB club does - NOT - count against the MLB club's ISBP.    
NOTE: Prior to the 2018-19 ISP, up to 75% of a signing bonus paid to a Mexican League player (or a player under contractual control of an LMB club) who had not yet reached "Foreign Professional" player status did not count against the MLB club's ISBP if the signing bonus was paid to the Mexican League club and not directly to the player and the player received no more than 25% of the signing bonus from the Mexican League club. 


TRADING/ACQUIRING ISBP SPACE

A club can trade up to 100% of its ISBP, and a club can acquire up to 60% of its assigned ISBP via trade or trades.

While up to 100% of a club's originally-assigned ISBP (plus up to an additional 60% of the club's originally-assigned ISBP that might be acquired in a trade or trades) can be traded, there are some restrictions:

1. A club's ISBP (or a portion of it) can only be traded during the International Signing Period (ISP) to which the ISBP was assigned (July 2nd through June 15th of the following year);

2. A club can trade ISBP space only in increments of $250K (including multiples of $250K) unless the club is trading all of its remaining ISBP in one transaction.

3. A club's ISBP (or a portion of it) cannot be sold for cash. However, cash can be exchanged if it is used to offset the salary or salaries of a player or players acquired in return for the SBV;

4. A club's ISBP (or a portion of it) cannot be substituted for a "Player to Be Named Later" (PTBNL);

5. Another club's ISBP (or a portion of it) acquired in a trade can be traded ("flipped") to a third club.

Comments

Wow, all three are 16 years old at this time.

They also signed Luis Berelleza, on the first of August.

Odd that the Tyler Schlaffer signing just became official.

TIM: Luis Berelleza was one of three IFA signed by the Cubs on June 14 (the day before the conclusion of the 2018-19 ISP). Only the four players listed above (Altuve, Made, Quintero, and D. Rodriguez) have been signed by the Cubs (so far) in the 2019-20 ISP.

The signing dates reported on mlb.com are not always accurate. 

AZ Phil, thanks for keeping us updated on IFA’s Signings. It’s great to have somebody with inside info.

Cubs minor leaguers in Mesa are wearing the new Nike jerseys, which look the same as the previous Majestic unis (blue Cubs jersey with red names and numbers outlined in white), except for the Nike "swoosh" insignia on the upper right front of the shirt.

Not sure yet how the AZL Cubs Blue and AZL Cubs Red squads (and DSL Cubs Blue and DSL Cubs Red squads) will be differentiated (AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 wore the exact same Cubs blue jerseys with red numbers outlined in white last year), although a blue Cubs cap with a red visor might be one simple and obvious distinction for the Red squads, and perhaps a red undershirt and/or red wtist bands and/or red socks might be other possibilities, although I doubt that the Red squads will wear red jerseys (with blue lettering) because then they almost become the Cardinals.      

Per Passan, KB has lost his grievance. Now what?

Dig deep into those Ricketts pockets and sign him to an extension. :P

The problem with a potential contract extension for Kris Bryant is that the basic philosophy of the Boras Corporation is that a player's true market value cannot be determined until he becomes a free-agent, so it's imperative for a player to become a free-agent ASAP and not buy-out free-agent years.

Also, after he becomes a free-agent the player promises to accept the best offer, whether or not it is from the player's hometown team, or the organization that signed him, or his favorite team as a kid, or where his best friend plays, or if the team is a contender. Doesn't matter. If you sign with Boras, you promise to take the most money. Ideally, the team that offers the most money is a club the player actually wants to play for (as happened with Gerrit Cole), but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.  

So when Bryant says he hopes to remain a Cub for life (or whatever he said) what he is really saying is that once he becomes a free-agent after the 2021 season, that he hopes the Cubs will offer him the most money so that he can re-sign with the Cubs. And if the Cubs don't offer the most money, he'll sign elsewhere. But he won't know who will offer the most money until he actually becomes a FA, which is why he won';t sign a contact extension before becoming a free-agent.  

BTW, buying out just arbitration years is OK (Bryce Harper did that), because the club is giving up the best contract in baseball (a one-year contract with a club option for the next year) in return for multi-year guaranted money for the player, so that he can't get non-tendered even if he suffers a career-ending or even season-ending injury during his 5th full season that impacts his availability in his 6th final full season before becoming a FA.

Some clubs just don't seem to understand that you shouldn't buy out arbitration years if you don't get free-agent years, too. The "cost certainty" that goes along with buying out arbitration years is not worth the price of guaranteeing a contract for more than one season when you don't have to. 

*shrug*  wait for WAS or TEX or COL to offer up something worth having while hoping some of whatever comes back the cubs way is worth putting on the field in april 2020, i guess...

pretty sure the team is set for infield rakes and Simoniz...

hell, this late in the offseason they may just keep him for another year and hope his D at 3rd doesn't deteriorate.

If the Cubs aren't able to get a satisfactory package of younger MLB-ready players back in a Kris Bryant deal, a Bryant / Chatwood / Descalso (combined $33.85M AAV in 2020) for Nolan Arenado and two minimum salary guys (TBD) off the Rockies 40-man roster (combined $33.65M AAV in 2020) could work.

It would be an almost exact AAV exchange in 2020, with the Rockies gaining some payroll flexibility ($15M+) post-2020 after Chatwood & Descalso leave via FA offset by a likely Bryant pay raise in his final season of arbitration eligibility, and then the Rocks would get a compensation draft pick post-2021 after Bryant leaves as a FA as well. 

The Rockies could also trade Bryant for prospects at the 2020 trade deadline or next off-season or at the 2021 trade deadline if they decide not keep Bryant all the way through the 2021 season.  

So with the signing of Souza and JJ, who joins Pelham on his way off the 40 man?....or is that KB's exit spot?

cubbies.4ever: I would think Dan Winkler would be the one, given that the Giants got him through waivers and outrighted him last August after they acqured him in the Mark Malancon deal at the trade deadline, plus he has a minor league split salary in 2020 which means he will be making "minor league money" ($200K) if he gets outrighted.   

Stepping away from Kris Bryant and his extension or lack there of....Anthony Rizzo approaches the Cubs wanting an extension and they say we'll see.  How many superstar players ASK for an extension rather than the team going to them and begging?  What is wrong with them?  Last year Kyle Hendricks and David Bote asked to be extended and were and neither is the calibur of Rizzo (apoligees to Kyle).  Doesn't show a lot of promise for any combinition of Baez/Schwarber/Contreras/Rizzo/Bryant down the road in a Cubs uniform. 

cubbies.4ever: I don't think the Cubs necessarily want to extend Anthony Rizzo too far into the future unless it's just a matter of guaranteeing his 2021 $16M club option and then adding maybe one additional guaranteed year (2022) beyond that plus perhaps a club option in 2023.

Rizzo will be entering his age 32 season in 2022 and there may not be a particularly robust market for him by that point in time, so even if the Cubs don't extend him past 2021 he could still return on a one-year Article XX-B Qualifying Offer in 2022 and he could go year-to-year (or maybe a two-year deal) after that.     

I strongly suspect Javy Baez might actually be the one & only Cubs long-term high-end big bucks extension candidate (maybe something like 8/$225M) from among the current Cubs core. Kris Bryant is a Boras client so he won't sign a contract extension before hitting free-agency post-2021 even if the Cubs offer him a gazillion dollars, and I doubt that Kyle Schwarber (who is - NOT - a Boras client) will get an extension offer, and same goes for Willson Contreras (free-agent post-2022). So while there is no rush, Schwarber and/or Contreras could be traded at any time prior to hitting free-agency. 

And with only Baez likely to be extended, the Cubs would probably be just fine with swapping Kris Bryant for Nolan Arenado, as long as the Cubs 2020 AAV is not affected (which is why Chatwood and Descalso would be included as one-year AAV offset equalizers). The Cubs will be gaining additional AAV post-2020 (presuming Lester's 2021 $25M option does not vest -- he needs to throw 200 IP in 2020 for it to vest -- and the Cubs buy him out for $10M) that can be directed toward a Baez extension without taking the Cubs over the 2021 CBT threshold. 

And then by 2022-23 the Cubs farm system might actually (hopefully) be consistently producing cheap MLB talent from within. 

Kind of makes you glad Russel, Almora, and Happ (Given Almora and Happ still are young and time will tell) haven't quite lived up to their hype otherwise you'd be dealing with more $$$ problems, especially since Almora/Russell are Boras clients.  I like all the other Cubs mentioned in the other post more, but for sedimental reasons it'd be sad to Willson go.  This (assuming he stays) will be his 12th year in the Cubs organization, 5th as a Cub MLB.  Not exactly Ernie Banks 19 years, but how many players between those 2 have lasted that long with only the Cubs I wonder?  It would be interesting to know in this salary cap/business era.  Sandberg (my all-time favorite) was originally even a Philly, though viewed basically as a lifetime Cub. 

cubbies.4ever: I see Anthony Rizzo as a lot like Ryne Sandberg (started in another organization but is more of a Chicago Cub than most of the current Cubs who started their careers in the Cubs organization)

I suspect Rizzo is one guy who would give the Cubs a "hometown discount" to remain in Chicago for the rest of his career. Mark Grace wanted that but the Cubs just weren't interested.  

Speaking of Ian Happ, right now I think he is really the #1 key position-player for the Cubs going into the 2020.season.  

If Happ can play CF most every day and hit lead-off with a .350+ OBP and combine walks, home runs, and plus-baserunning (Happ has been rated in the Top 10 of MLB in sprint speed on the bases), the Cubs could have a really good offense in 2020.

BTW, baserunning skill isn't about stealing bases, it's really the ability to score from 1st base on a double, from 2nd base on a single to the outfield, or from 3rd base on a routine fly ball or ground out with less than two outs. Happ can do that (presuming he can get on base consistently).   

- IF - Happ can be productive (big "IF") and - IF - Bryant isn't traded (another big "IF"), a usual/typical lineup of Happ CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Baez SS, Schwarber LF, Contreras C, Heyward RF, and Bote or Hoerner 2B (with Caratini catching a couple of times a week and giving Rizzo an occasional day off at 1B, Souza occasionally starting in RF or LF vs LHP, and Almora as a late-inning defensive replacement in CF with Happ moving to LF), might be a fairly decent lineup, presuming everybody can stay healthy (unlike last September).   

IIRC, Happ hit a leadoff home run on the very first pitch of 2018 season against the Marlins and things quickly went downhill for him that month. Maybe bat him second - just on opening day - this year and the worm finally turns ...

cubbies.4ever: Who would have believed back in 2016 (or even in 2017) that by 2020 Addison Russell would be in the Witness Protection Program and Albert Almora would be barely hanging-on as essentially a 5th OF. 

i keep wondering who will sign addy.

one part of me thinks he'd be a perfect TB pickup, but another part of me thinks the low amount of people who show up to their games would lead to him putting up with some very clearly expressed vocal heckling.

he handled his (deserved) boo's when he came back to wrigley quite well.  i think everyone involved in the whole mess wants him to continue to make money and have a chance to right his life, but i'm glad the cubs part of it is over.

i know he has baggage because of what he did, but it says a lot about our current society (a positive thing) that a young SS/2nd with well above average D that's capable of 20+ homers is having a hard time finding a job because of his abuse.  we don't "do that" anymore.  we don't give these guys "welcome back" cheers anymore because he's "one of our guys."

i seriously think d.bote is a hell of a potential "oh, that guy exits" breakout 2020 candidate...not like he's some extreme underdog, but he's more considered a part-time player.  i wouldn't mind seeing him slotted in as the starting 2nd baseman.

i hope he gets a chance to show he's worthy of being more of a full time guy.  i still think it's semi-criminal how much he sat in aug/sep (even with favorable matchups) while tearing it up.  he had a horrid mid-june through july, but he turned it around and was still fighting for playing time.

the team has him under extremely low priced club control through 2024 with cheap options through 2026.  he may not crack many all-star team rosters (if any at all), but he's got potential to be a memorable cub.

100%... Bote is soon going to be at the top of my Wrigleyville-Cubs-Jersey scavanger hunt list in the "Hip (non-ironic) & True Fan" category. Others in that category include - Mark DeRosa, Darwin Barney, Chris Coghlan, Pedro Strop (tear), & anybody who was prescient enough to purchase a DJ LeMahieu Cubs jersey. 

FYI - in the "Hip (Ironic) & True Fan" category, the gold standard in my mind is anyone with a Zambrano #39 jersey. Which is of course in reference to Eddie Zambrano, not Carlos (#38). I value subtlety... any d-bag can get their hands on a Fukudome jersey. (no disrespect to KF)

FirstPitch.120: If you bought a Daniel Descalso #3 jersey last year, be advised he will be wearing #33 in 2020 (David Ross will wear #3). 

Also, Craig Kimbrel will be switching from #24 (the number he wore with the Cubs in 2019) to his long-time #46 (which was worn by Pedro Strop for the previous seven seasons), so discussions about retiring Lee Smith's #46 will likely be tabled until after Kimbrel finishes his time with the Cubs. 

I did not jump on the the Descalso train last year... but thank you for the information!

i'm gonna kick it oldschool tuned-in-hip with my riggs stephenson jersey...maybe flex a bit with a bill hands jersey.

Can't decide if I want to break out my Steve Buechle or Lance Johnson jersey, it's a tough call.

Jerry Kendall for me.

I rock my Doug Dascenzo jersey the most, but the relative cheapness of the shirsey makes it easier to support the B side guys that way. But I don't regret my Mike Fontenot jersey one bit.

carlos zambrano had an awesome fontenot jersey

https://i.ibb.co/DgfbXXD/zfont.jpg

Hitting up Team Espana for a two-way guy.

Is this Jimmy Herron providing dividends?

happy 21st birthday brailyn marquez (Jan 30th..but it's still the 30th where i'm currently at)...also, wonder if he'll start in AA or if he'll be in A+ again...

either way, he should end the year in AA at a minimum, barring suck/injury.

it would be nice to see him and adbert alzolay solidify into near-MLB-available pitching prospects now that trevor clifton is no longer in the system after flaming out last season.

Corbin Joseph, why?

HAGSAG: Although he has played mainly 2B in his very lengthy professional career, Corban Joseph also plays 1B-3B-LF, so he will likely be the primary 1B at Iowa in 2020. 

I don't know much about this website, but they are speculating that the Cubs may sign two of the top International Free Agents available during this signing period: https://www.cubshq.com/print/news.do?id=16441&isNe... Does anyone know if this sounds legit?

"The Cubs are expected to be big players in the international free-agent market. They are expected to set the tone by signing two of the highest-rated prospects with the potential to land even the top-rated prospect in the process. While the rules have changed regarding International signees in recent seasons, two things remain to be the steppingstones as to why most deals get done.

Most of the time, when a team reaches a deal with a player, it was agreed on long before they could officially sign. Whether a handshake or a phone call, teams know who they want and will do what they can to get some commitment to the players before making the pick.

Going back to the first point, most of those commitments and handshakes happen way in advance, meaning the Cubs could have already shaken hands with who they plan to sign when the International signing period for 2020-21 begins.

If the Cubs have indeed talked to and have shaken the hands of two prospects, then they certainly are getting the cream of the crop in terms of the international players this season. The first of the two, we are going to dive into is 16-year-old SS Cristian Hernandez from the Dominican Republic. Yes, you heard me right. He is 16 but built like a Mack truck.

The other player the Cubs are expected to sign in the IFA pool is catcher Moises Ballesteros from Venezuela. Ballesteros has a stout body that is strong for his age. That helps him produce extremely hard contact from the left side to go with his strong arm behind the plate."

Check out the article for more information!

the news is mostly based on a Baseball America article from the 11th (behind a paywall)...so the gist of it is rather legit rumor-wise, though it's still too far in the future to call it a 100% done deal.

btw, the cubs have been strongly linked to pursuing christian hernandez for quite a while.  the BA writer that wrote the article about the cubs links has been following c.hernandez since he was a 14yo talent and is quite familiar with him.  that signing probably is in the bag.

College ball started Saturday.  Umpire egos in D1 baseball are not that much smaller than in the pros, so of course there was a controversy.  In the late innings of a game in the weekend's biggest series (Michigan vs. Vandy,) a Michigan batter took a called strike for 0-2.  Looking a little despondent, he stepped out of the box dragging his bat, creating a four inch line PERPENDICULAR to the plate.  While the batter was composing himself, the ump tossed him for a silent protest of the strike call.  Of the thousands of people watching that game, close to zero % of them interpreted the line the batter made as intentional, never mind some sort of ball/strike protest.  Apparently if you put the head of your bat in the dirt and it creates a line in any direction, this ump is going to toss you.  The NCAA should toss him.  This is amateur baseball; only the umpires are professional  and adults (supposedly.)  More common sense and less interest in being the lead paragraph of the game story, please.

bryce harper ruined that bat dragging thing for everyone after his ejection years ago at the junior college world series.

also, hurrah for baseball making it's return.

Contrary to reports, 2019-20 IFA J-2 C Brayan Altuve was -NOT - signed by the Cubs in July. The Cubs did not have enough ISBP room initially to fit in his $1M bonus, so instead he was "officially" signed after the conclusion of the 2019 season, which means the Cubs will get an extra year before Altuve will be Rule 5 Draft eligible (post-2024, instead of post-2023 which would have been the case if he had signed in July).  

Presumably the extra ISBP space that was needed to sign Altuve (and 16 other ISP FA signed by the Cubs post-July) came from the Rockies in the Jimmy Herron trade on 7/31. The exact amount of ISBP acquired by the Cubs from COL for Herron has not been reported, but since the Cubs sent $250K of their own ISBP space to SD in the Carl Edwards/Brad Wieck trade, the amount of ISBP space received from the Rockies must have been at least $500K (Herron was signed by the Cubs for $520K) or maybe even $750K. (ISBP space can only be traded in increments of $250K). 

Remember, when a club acquires ISBP space in a trade they atre only acquiring the right to spend additional money on bonuses given to IFA during that ISP. The club is not actually acquiring cash; just the right to spend cash. 

Besides Quintero, Altuve, and Made, a fourth significant IFA signing by the Cubs during the off-season was 16 year old Dominican CF Anderson Suriel. He played for the Dominican 15U World Cup team in 2018.  

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  • JustSayin' 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 5 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 20 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

     

  • jdrnym 6 days 9 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

     

  • crunch 1 week 12 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    ---

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 

     

  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw

     

  • erich081 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.