International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

CaliforniaRaisin
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Re: International Free Agency Thread 2020-2021

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:14 pm

CubinNY wrote:
CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:


“I think when we got our first look at him—and, to be honest, with the comps that are being thrown around—he looks like A-Rod,” said an international scouting director with a team that does not expect to sign Hernandez. “He’s a baby A-Rod.”

...

“You can easily project (his power) to plus. The ball really comes off his bat well. It’s a clean, easy swing with power to the middle of the field,” the international director said. “His body, from the time we first started watching him, to when he committed, to the videos I’ve seen since then, he hasn’t gotten much bigger or stronger.

“That being said, just the way the ball comes off the bat and the way the swing path comes through the zone, it’s really easy to project power. I’d call it plus in the future.”

...

“The lack of projection in the body over a one-to-two-year window, it probably points to him sticking at shortstop. It probably points to him growing a couple of inches, adding on a little weight and looking like a middle infielder more than a third baseman,” the international director said. “I don’t have any concerns about him slowing down or being forced to move to third base.

“When we were initially projecting him, you obviously throw the A-Rod body comp on him, and you kind of expect him to grow into his body and get a little bit bigger, and that hasn’t happened yet.”

So did the Cubs sign this kid?


The signing period begins 1/15/2021.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:05 pm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mlb.co ... gency.html

Two-way player Oscar Luis Colas, who defected from Cuba in January, has been declared a free agent by his Nippon Professional Baseball team, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, a source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez on Wednesday.

Colas will now petition for Major League Baseball free agency, which is the first step to signing with a team. He would then be eligible to sign under international signing guidelines, likely during the period that starts on Jan. 15. The signing period originally was to begin on July 2, 2020, but was moved back.


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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:30 pm



This list now includes pro IFA prospects, including ones who won’t be posted or free agents for a few years.

Eric Longenhagen continues to be the low man with Christians Hernandez, compared to BA and MLB. He has him ranked 5th with this write-up:

Full Report
A high-probability shortstop with a long-limbed, projectable frame, Hernandez is your traditional international amateur who excels in a workout environment. His infield actions are smooth and athletic, his swing has a gorgeous, pronounced finish, and he has the right amount of overt physical projection that may see him mature into the unteachable, star-making Goldilocks Zone where Hernandez stays at short and also has impact power. The components of Hernandez's swing push and pull against one another, as his cut is pretty long but he also has very advanced barrel control. He's able to pull his hands in and get the barrel on inside pitches and he also has good vertical plate coverage. The downward sweeping nature of the swing might dilute Hernandez's game power relative to his projected raw, but the Cubs have had some recent success in tweaking swings like this.


Moises Ballesteros didn’t rank in Longenhagen’s top 40 pro and amateur prospects.

Here is some of the fallout from not increasing bonuses and not allowing trades:

The financial fallout from COVID-19 also caused MLB to keep international signing bonus pool amounts stagnant rather than increase them as they have otherwise always done year-over-year. There was also a moratorium put on trading for international bonus pool space. These changes have thrown a monkey wrench into the best laid plans of this entire corner of the industry. Teams often reach verbal agreements with prospects well in advance of them being eligible to sign, and the players’ bonus amounts are negotiated with both sides anticipating year-over-year increases in pool space, and some are made assuming the team can and will trade for additional pool space to get all of its deals done.

Now that can’t happen, and a bunch of teams have either had to completely nuke their agreements with a prospect or two to stay under their hard capped bonus pool amount, or kick the can down the road and ask the player to wait until the next signing period (which, like I said, probably won’t start until January of 2022) to sign for the original amount. As a result, there are some players who thought they were going to sign in July 2020 who now won’t sign until January 2022, or who no longer have a home with a team at a point in the process when most of the available money is already committed to other players.


The Cubs are probably close to their cap already with Hernandez and Ballesteros so they probably can’t get sneak in and add additional talent next month. The 2021 IFAs Longenhagen doesn’t have linked to a team right now are: C Jesús Galiz, SS Yeferson Tineo, OF/P Oscar Colas and OF Yoeliqui Cespedes. All could be pushed to 2022 if they can’t find a team soon.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:47 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:https://twitter.com/benbadler/status/1316770398034423808?s=21

At this point, though, other than some of the Cuban players, most of the top international players who are eligible to sign on Jan. 15, 2021 (the new start of the 2020-21 signing period that was delayed from July 2 this year) already know where they're going to sign.

One player still showcasing for clubs is 16-year-old Dominican righthander Jarlin Susana, who pitched in a game in front of scouts in Santo Domingo this week. Susana made a loud impression, sitting in the low-to-mid 90s and reaching 96 mph. He's 6-foot-5, 195 pounds with more physical projection remaining, and he paired his fastball with a sharp breaking ball.


Mets and Dodgers amongst teams with a high scouting preference after he popped up.

Not sure the Cubs have much left for a pop up guy since they have somewhere between $4.2-$5 million already set aside or Hernandez and Ballesteros and teams like the Cardinals and White Sox have a lot left for pop ups and Cuban defectors.


Jarlin Susana is expected to sign with the Padres for $1.5 million but will have to wait till the 2021-22 signing period because the Padres don't have bonus space.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:36 pm

https://www.mlb.com/news/yoelqui-cesped ... e-coverage

Yoelqui Céspedes, Yoenis’ half brother, is expected to sign with the White Sox for nearly $2 million.
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Re: RE: Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:40 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:https://www.mlb.com/news/yoelqui-cespedes-white-sox-deal?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage

Yoelqui Céspedes, Yoenis’ half brother, is expected to sign with the White Sox for nearly $2 million.
Man thats cheap for #1 IFA

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Re: RE: Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:08 pm

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:
CaliforniaRaisin wrote:https://www.mlb.com/news/yoelqui-cespedes-white-sox-deal?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage

Yoelqui Céspedes, Yoenis’ half brother, is expected to sign with the White Sox for nearly $2 million.
Man thats cheap for #1 IFA

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He's definitely not universally considered the #1 FA. Fangraphs has him ranked 39th (and 28th if you don't consider the players in Asia on their board). BA has him ranked 12th.

The FG preview:

As you'd expect given his lineage, Cespedes has prodigious physical gifts, including elite arm strength. I do not think he'll hit enough to play a big league role, though. His long, noisy swing causes him to be late on velocity and Cespedes hasn't played or seen live pitching regularly for nearly four years, and when he has played, he's struck out a bunch. The error bar around Cuban players is big because the context in which they're evaluated is often strange, but I'm pessimistic about the bat based on the info I have.


Thinking about numerous Cuban prospects over the years (from Puig who surprised positively to Eddy Martinez who surprised negatively), I think the note on the error bar is a pretty valid point.
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby We Got The Whole 9 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:39 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
We Got The Whole 9 wrote:
CaliforniaRaisin wrote:https://www.mlb.com/news/yoelqui-cespedes-white-sox-deal?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage

Yoelqui Céspedes, Yoenis’ half brother, is expected to sign with the White Sox for nearly $2 million.
Man thats cheap for #1 IFA

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He's definitely not universally considered the #1 FA. Fangraphs has him ranked 39th (and 28th if you don't consider the players in Asia on their board). BA has him ranked 12th.

The FG preview:

As you'd expect given his lineage, Cespedes has prodigious physical gifts, including elite arm strength. I do not think he'll hit enough to play a big league role, though. His long, noisy swing causes him to be late on velocity and Cespedes hasn't played or seen live pitching regularly for nearly four years, and when he has played, he's struck out a bunch. The error bar around Cuban players is big because the context in which they're evaluated is often strange, but I'm pessimistic about the bat based on the info I have.


Thinking about numerous Cuban prospects over the years (from Puig who surprised positively to Eddy Martinez who surprised negatively), I think the note on the error bar is a pretty valid point.
My bad. I read elsewhere that he's the #1 guy. Sorry I haven't been paying all that much attention TBH

Thats a lousy profile. 4 years since facing live pitching and trouble with velo as-is. I wonder if there's thoughts of him converting to the mound if the bat falters.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:41 pm

We Got The Whole 9 wrote:
CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
We Got The Whole 9 wrote:Man thats cheap for #1 IFA

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He's definitely not universally considered the #1 FA. Fangraphs has him ranked 39th (and 28th if you don't consider the players in Asia on their board). BA has him ranked 12th.

The FG preview:

As you'd expect given his lineage, Cespedes has prodigious physical gifts, including elite arm strength. I do not think he'll hit enough to play a big league role, though. His long, noisy swing causes him to be late on velocity and Cespedes hasn't played or seen live pitching regularly for nearly four years, and when he has played, he's struck out a bunch. The error bar around Cuban players is big because the context in which they're evaluated is often strange, but I'm pessimistic about the bat based on the info I have.


Thinking about numerous Cuban prospects over the years (from Puig who surprised positively to Eddy Martinez who surprised negatively), I think the note on the error bar is a pretty valid point.
My bad. I read elsewhere that he's the #1 guy. Sorry I haven't been paying all that much attention TBH

Thats a lousy profile. 4 years since facing live pitching and trouble with velo as-is. I wonder if there's thoughts of him converting to the mound if the bat falters.

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He is MLB Pipeline's #1 guy. Looks like opinions are pretty varied on him.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:53 pm

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/12/ ... agent.html

Turning to the future for Colas, he’ll now be eligible to sign with a team beginning on Jan. 15, 2021. That’s the official kickoff date for the 2020-21 international signing period — a date that was pushed back from its typical July 2 commencement as teams placed their focus and resources elsewhere while seeking to ramp up for shortened 2020 season.

Given his age and lack of professional experience, Colas is restricted to signing a minor league contract and is subject to international bonus pools. A team cannot exceed its league-allotted bonus pool in order to sign Colas, and teams aren’t allowed to trade international pool space for the 2020-21 period (another concept agreed to as the league sorted out return-to-play conditions prior to the season).

That, as Baseball America’s Ben Badler explained yesterday, leads to a tricky situation for Colas. Using the White Sox as an example, Badler writes that between outfielder Yoelki Cespedes, who recently agreed to sign with the Sox once the signing period officially begins, and prior agreements with righty Norge Vera and others, most of the ChiSox’ pool is already used up. Most teams throughout the league are in a similar spot, per Badler.

That’s not uncommon, as most deals for international amateurs are agreed to months or even years in advance. But it’s also not a good thing for Colas, who is only now becoming a free agent at a time when most teams have committed the bulk of their signing pools to other players. Badler suggests that Colas could consider waiting all the way until the 2021-22 signing period to agree to terms with a deal, although it’s likely that some clubs will try to sway him to sign sooner than that.


https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/202 ... colas-mlb/

Although Colas is also a hard-throwing left-handed pitcher, he suggested he could do without his people calling him “the Cuban Ohtani” — a reference to the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way Japanese player Shohei Ohtani.

“My personal preference is to be a position player and bat,” said Colas, who named Barry Bonds as the player who inspired him the most. “It’s been three years since I pitched. I can do it, but it’s been years.”
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:38 pm



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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:15 pm

This guy tweeted BA's writeups for Hernandez and Ballesteros:



I hate to pick on a kid but I also hate to see these reptiles set these ridiculous expectations on a kid who would be a HS junior in the states, probably to go after his bonus when he's inevitably not. Both ARod and Manny Machado were exceptional, no doubt SSs when drafted and signed, and I've noticed in Hernandez writeups (including Pipeline) aren't *that* certain about his defensive future. Just feels like they threw this comp because he looks like them, maybe also to get some excitement going in the fanbase, and also maybe doing a little watering down of just how good ARod and Machado were out of HS (ARod's still arguably the best prospect ever)...I've asked McDaniel and Longenhagen in their chats who was the better prospect between he and Howard, if the ARod/Machado comparisons were legit they would not hesitate to say Hernandez because that's the level those guys were on. Personally, I look at him as a 3B/OF prospect in the long run

Funny enough, Howard compared himself to Machado. Makes *alot* more sense for him as the 6'2" 185 and growing first drafted prep SS who was also the top ranked SS (HS or NCAA) throughout the whole draft process, but I'm happy to not see it get much press



The Cubs have consistently signed guys who performed on an international stage as amateurs going back to Almora (Burl Carraway played for Team USA in Summer 2019 IIRC), Ballesteros is another. He might already be bigger than listed, there's a profile out there that has him at 215 already, and I don't think that's a bad thing. Between he, Hearn (top ranked HS catcher in the 2019 draft), and Quintero (top ranked IFA C in 2019) there's got to be some real confidence in producing a LHH catcher with some chops capable of being an understudy to Contreras or Amaya whoever is holding down the MLs in like...2024? 2025? I could even see some argument for extending Contreras and trading Amaya depending on how confident the Cubs are in this group
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby craig » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:49 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:....The Cubs have consistently signed guys who performed on an international stage as amateurs going back to Almora (Burl Carraway played for Team USA in Summer 2019 IIRC), Ballesteros is another. ...


Tom, what are pros/cons of that? I'm probably missing some, but:
Pros: 1. That's where the best players are, national teams tend to draw the best. 2. You see guys in real games against good players. 3. When other teams have a long scouting familiarity with a good prospect, it may facilitate trading the guy away. (Cubs wouldn't have made Darvish trade if they hadn't already seen and liked Mena and Preciado back from IFA days.).

Cons: 1. Cost: If a guy is good on that stage, every other team knows it too. So, no bargain prices there. 2. Scouting value: If everybody else has seen him too, but nobody else thinks he's worth the price you do, maybe they're right and you're wrong? 3. Lesser untapped potential? Guys on national teams often have benefited from strong programs and strong coaching already; and may perhaps have less unused ceiling? (Almora, Ademan, Tseng...)
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:49 pm

craig wrote:Tom, what are pros/cons of that? I'm probably missing some, but:
Pros: 1. That's where the best players are, national teams tend to draw the best. 2. You see guys in real games against good players. 3. When other teams have a long scouting familiarity with a good prospect, it may facilitate trading the guy away. (Cubs wouldn't have made Darvish trade if they hadn't already seen and liked Mena and Preciado back from IFA days.).

Cons: 1. Cost: If a guy is good on that stage, every other team knows it too. So, no bargain prices there. 2. Scouting value: If everybody else has seen him too, but nobody else thinks he's worth the price you do, maybe they're right and you're wrong? 3. Lesser untapped potential? Guys on national teams often have benefited from strong programs and strong coaching already; and may perhaps have less unused ceiling? (Almora, Ademan, Tseng...)


As the game becomes more international and with amateurs lined up to play fewer games in the alreadyherefuture, my only con is that it's just another relatively exclusive club within the sports world. I would most definitely disagree on bonuses since they're all bargains. Ceiling too, guys like Bryant and Howard have made national teams, last year's 18U team was loaded (Howard, PCA, Abel, Hendrick, Hassell, Vukovich, Savino, Soderstrom) same for the college team

Pros...More games, more games against top competition, since it's international the teams scouting it heaviest are a little more aware of top international players coming up, more data (which is all)... :dontknow:
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:53 pm

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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:41 pm

Ben Badler has linked the Cubs to another smaller IFA signing in tomorrow’s class: Raino Coran, an outfielder from Curaçao.

Their names we know from the class that opens tomorrow:

SS Christian Hernández, Dominican Republic - around $3.5 million bonus
C Moises Ballesteros, Venezuela - around $1.2 million
OF Daniel Ferreira, Dominican Republic
LHP Carlos Cabrera, Venezuela
OF Oferman Hernández, Dominican Republic
OF Raino Coran, Curaçao
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:19 pm

Only $3 million. Cubs have $2,348,100 left.

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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:26 pm



These guys have officially signed per BA:

Chicago Cubs | (Signing preview, reports & video)


Cristian Hernandez, ss, Dominican Republic (scouting report)
Moises Ballesteros, c, Venezuela (scouting report)
Daniel Ferreira, of, Dominican Republic
Carlos Cabrera, lhp, Venezuela
Offerman Hernandez, of, Dominican Republic
Raino Coran, of, Curacao
Carlos Ramos, c, Venezuela


First time I’ve heard of Ramos.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:06 pm

Hernandez got $3 million, which yeah is awesome and great to get him in but also adds fuel to my thinking that Ed Howard is a cut above the rest in this system
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:50 pm

Kiely McDaniel: https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/ ... igning-day

3. Cristian Hernandez (17), SS, Dominican Republic, Cubs, 45 FV

More of the prototypical high-bonus international shortstop, a twitchy, lanky shortstop that will stick at the position. Has plus speed, projects for plus raw power, and a plus arm. The issue is his game performance was poor early, though it ticked up later. Probably has the most upside in the group, but much more hit tool risk than Colmenarez and Diaz.


Carlos Colmenarez and Willin Díaz were 1-2.

Kiley only ranked his top 10 but had Moises Ballesteros amongst a big group of prospects in a 35+ or 40 FV tier.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:27 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Hernandez got $3 million, which yeah is awesome and great to get him in but also adds fuel to my thinking that Ed Howard is a cut above the rest in this system


Apples to oranges.

Hernández was probably 14 or 15 when he agreed to his contract and should have been 16 when he signed (turned 17 last month), Howard was 18.

The Cubs had more funds to sign Howard then Hernández: IFA bonus pool for the Cubs this year was $5,348,100 while the draft pool was $7,057,680 with the 5% overage.

Hernández signed for the 5th largest IFA bonus while Howard signed for slot value at pick 16.
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby Brian » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:08 pm

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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:31 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:Apples to oranges.

Hernández was probably 14 or 15 when he agreed to his contract and should have been 16 when he signed (turned 17 last month), Howard was 18.

The Cubs had more funds to sign Howard then Hernández: IFA bonus pool for the Cubs this year was $5,348,100 while the draft pool was $7,057,680 with the 5% overage.

Hernández signed for the 5th largest IFA bonus while Howard signed for slot value at pick 16.


I just don't agree on the apples to oranges thing in the context of all this penny pinching during the pandemic, everyone's getting US dollars

- It's very likely Hernandez had his bonus revised down at one point or another. The earliest rumors were as high as $3.5.
- While slot value doesn't sound like a big deal in a vacuum, only 8 guys in front of Howard received slot or better and only slightly more than half the first round did altogether (8 in front of Howard, 8 behind him). Basically, it was no small feat to walk away with slot in the 2020 draft especially in the first round. Throw in the 2020 draft being deeper and more well regarded than the 2020 IFA pool and contextually I think Howard gets the edge here
- Relatively, Hernandez's $3 million took up 56% of the IFA pool while Howard's bonus took up 55% of what they spent on the draft. This is advantage Hernandez but 1% and change IMO isn't enough to cover a 25% different in bonuses during pandemic times
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby TomtheBombadil » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:34 pm

Brian wrote:


Look at those hands!!

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Seems like tons of growth potential there, clown feet too
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Re: International Free Agency Thread, 1/15/2021 Class

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:55 pm

Brian wrote:


Best draft day/signing day bowtie in Chicago history since...Joakim.

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