Just like yesterday, I will be reporting live again today. This time, though, all the news will be about the opening day of international free agency and just exactly who the Cubs add today. This year’s signing period runs through December 15. Almost all the players will be assigned to either the Red or Blue squad this year and won’t begin play until early June. Mabe one or two players might slide up to Mesa or Myrtle Beach like Alfredo Zarraga did last year. To see who the Cubs have signed the past few years, click here to go to our IFA database.
This year, the Cubs have been linked to three top 30 names all fall – SS Derniche Valdez, SS Ludwig Espinoza, and SS Angel Cepeda. All won’t be playing SS, but they are all well thought of prospects.
But those won’t be the only names we see and hear today. The Cubs have $5,284,000 to spend this year and they won’t be blowing it all today, but they will spend a large chunk of it. There are going to be a lot of unknown guys inked up. It will be fun learning about them. Normally, Baseball America puts out a preview for each team’s signing class but that did not happen this winter.
Here’s what we do know about the three players the Cubs are linked to today.
“Valdez has quick-twitch actions that show up in the batter’s box, where he has fast hands to snap the barrel through the zone with good bat speed.” ~ Baseball America
Ludwig Espinoza (BA refers to him as Ludwing)
“He has a sound swing, a mature approach and good bat-to-ball skills from both sides of the plate with gap power, showing a little more juice from the left side.“ ~ Baseball America
“He can play shortstop, second base and third. He’s also athletic enough to play center field. Wherever he ends up playing, he’s also very likely going to make an impact when he’s in the batter’s box.” ~ Jesse Sanchez – MLB Pipeline
The names and pictures should start to roll in at 8 AM.
The signings are starting to happen. While Jesse Sanchez and Ben Badler have not announced them on Twitter with a pic or a Tweet, MLB Pipeline did list the signing bonuses for Valdez, Espinoza, and Cepeda.
Valdez got $2.7 million, Espinoza got $1.5 million, while Cepeda received $1 million. That does take up most of the pool, but the Cubs can sign lots of players for $10,000 that do not count against the bonus pool. We will see what happens. When we get pics here soon, we will post them.
We are still waiting for some pics to come through. The announcements and pictures are moving at a pretty slow pace this year. Because it is a Sunday morning, things might be more active this afternoon and tomorrow.
More and more pics coming on Twitter. Cubs should be soon.
Thanks to Greg Zumach for pointing this pic out!
From his agency on Instagram
More signings have come in. SS Brailin Pascual, SS Omar Ferrera, RHP Jostin Florentino, 3B Albert Gutierrez, and LHP Miguel Cruz