Cuban center fielder Eddy Julio Martinez’s free agency has been surrounded by controversy, but the 20-year-old has officially signed with the Cubs, reports Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.
Expectations for Martinez were high heading into this year’s international free agency period, with some outlets estimating that he’d sign a $10MM+ bonus. Martinez rumors went quiet for an extended period of time, though, before it was reported that he’d hired new representation and is now represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council. Martinez agreed to a $2.5MM signing bonus with the Giants — an agreement which GM Bobby Evans publicly acknowledged — but it was soon reported that Martinez wouldn’t sign with the Giants and instead sought a $3MM bonus.
That bonus materialized shortly thereafter, as the Cubs swooped in and reached a reported agreement. However, it was soon revealed that that Major League Baseball was determining whether or not the Giants’ agreement was binding. At the heart of the issue was that Martinez had multiple agents negotiating on his behalf, with his BHSC reps striking the deal with the Giants via a series of texts and emails. Martinez was also employing multiple “buscones,” or street agents, who brokered the deal with the Cubs. Had the agreement with the Giants been ruled to be binding, it would have superseded Martinez’s larger agreement with the Cubs.
That, clearly, was not the case though, as Eddy and MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez have both reported today that Martinez will go to the Cubs. He’ll add to an impressive crop of international talent signed by the Cubs, who spent $8.65MM on July 2. That means they’ll be taxed at 100 percent on their $3MM signing of Martinez, meaning they effectively paid $6MM to secure his services.