Thursday, February 2, 2012

(UPDATED) Cubs sign another Cuban, and are building him a place to train.

The Cubs signed their 3rd Cuban defector of the off-season, not Yoennis Cespedes.

Gerardo Concepcion, an 19 year old left handed pitcher, was signed to an undisclosed contract, though some people believe it is in the multi-million dollar range.

Concepcion had a 3.36 ERA last season in the Cuban League.  He has a low 90's fastball and an above average curveball according to scouts.  He's tall and relatively thin, but at only 19 years old, will likely fill out a bit more over the next few years.  He doesn't strikeout many batters and walks a few more than I think we'd like to see.  Obviously, Concepcion has a few years before he would even be considered to be ready for Major League hitters.  I expect him to start the year in high-A ball.

Overall, this is another solid signing by the Cubs.  It continues to add depth to the farm system.  With Yasiel Balaguert and Carlos Martinez, the Cubs are making significant strides at improving their presence in Latin America.

The Cubs are holding their quarterly organizational meetings this week and unveiled renderings of there new 50 acre baseball academy which will be build in the Dominican Republic.

(To read about it and see the renderings, go here.)

Honestly, this place looks great, and appears to be nicer than the team's current spring training facilities in Mesa.  The academy is intended to operate year round and will contain facilities for the organization's Latin players to train at in the off-season.

So now we wait to see if the Cubs sign Cespedes or Jorge Soler, the two top Cuban players who remain available.



It has been said on Twitter by Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Concepcion was signed to a $7 million major league contract.

I find this quite hard to believe as Concepcion has yet to face any major league hitting and is only 19 years old.  It would also mean that he would be placed on the 40 man roster.

I believe Rojas is incorrect on this.  We don't know how much the contract is for, but it is possible, if not likely that the $7 million number is actually a majority of a signing bonus.  I don't see any reason to think Concepcion will be given a major league contract at this point.