The international signing window has officially opened and the Cubs made a quick splash, signing 16-year old SS Gleyber Torres out of Venezuela to a signing bonus of $1.7M. Torres ranked second on Baseball America’s Top 30 International Prospects List. Who is he behind? None other than outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who to many is a foregone conclusion to be a future Cubs prospect. Baseball America provided a video of Jimenez, courtesy of the International Prospect League.
The Cubs also landed 18-year old right-hander Jefferson Meija (who did not rank on BA’s Top 30) to a $850K signing bonus, leaving the Cubs with about $2M to sign Jimenez, meaning that they may have to trade for more international pool money in order to land the big outfield bat.
In less fortunate news, Jorge Soler‘s injury may keep him out for the remainder of the season, leaving the potential for an Arizona Fall League appearance. Soler had been a strong candidate to move up to AA Tennessee with Javier Baez, but unfortunately, it will not happen this year. It is a shame, as the Cubs’ lone Futures Game representative is now Arismendy Alcantara (Baez missed out in the final voting for the last spot).
UPDATE: The Cubs acquired the once highly touted right-hander Jake Arrieta along with Pedro Strop (both have ERAs over 7 this year) from Baltimore for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger. While neither are prospects, though Arrieta spent time in the minor leagues this season, the Cubs did get an extra $388,100 added to their international cap. The Cubs then traded second base prospect Ronald Torreyes to the Houston Astros to add another $784,700. The Cubs also sent $209,700 to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Carlos Marmol – yes, he is finally gone – for Matt Guerrier. In total, the Cubs upped their cap to $5,520,300. Subtract $850,000 for Meija and $1,700,000 for Torres and the Cubs have about $2,970,300 left to spend in their pursuit of Jimenez.
UPDATE2: The Cubs have signed 16-year old right-hander Erling Moreno out of Colombia for $800K, leaving the team with $2,170,300 to spend on Jimenez or any other signing they make.