The White Sox have officially signed Cuban outfielder Luis Robert, and he’ll receive a $26MM bonus, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com tweets. The deal is of the minor-league variety, according to the White Sox’ team announcement.
Chicago had long been seen as one of the top suitors for the highly-regarded Robert, with reports noting that the White Sox and Cardinals were the favorites to land the 19-year-old outfielder. The Padres, Reds, Astros, and Athletics were also linked to Robert.
Since Robert is subject to international bonus pools, the White Sox had to far exceed their pool limit ($2.973MM) to make the signing. Since every dollar spent over the pool limit comes at a 100% luxury tax, the Sox will actually pay in the $50-$60MM range to sign Robert, between both his bonus and the overage tax.
In addition, the White Sox will be penalized for exceeding their bonus pool in this international signing period (which ends on June 15) by being limited to signings of no more than $300K in each of the next two signing periods. Notably, the White Sox were the only known Robert suitor who hadn’t yet exceeded their pool limit for the 2016-17 signing period. Baseball America’s Ben Badler recently observed that Chicago hadn’t lined up any deals with highly-touted prospects for the coming July 2 period, which served as a hint that the Sox were planning to take themselves out of the international prospect running by signing Robert.
Since the international bonus pool system will be much stricter under the new collective bargaining agreement, however, Robert was seen as the last blue chip international talent available under the pre-existing rules, which end on June 15. It therefore made sense for him to sign as quickly as possible in order to score a larger payday than he would’ve by waiting until the next July 2 period, and it also made sense for the White Sox to make this last-second splash while they still could. As we’ve seen in recent years, several teams have employed the strategy of far exceeding their pool limit in order to sign one or several highly-regarded international prospects during one signing period, essentially sacrificing two future years under penalty to make one big splurge.
Robert comes with enough promise that it is clear to see why the White Sox felt he was worth the risk. Considered by many evaluators to be the second-best international prospect in the world (behind only Japan’s Shohei Otani), Robert hit .314/.409/.467 over 192 games and 711 plate appearances in the Serie Nacional and playing for a Cuban team in the Can-Am League.
Badler examines Robert’s tools and history in Cuba’s Serie Nacional as part of this scouting report that is well worth a full read. The 19-year-old is already 6’3″ and possesses “premium bat speed” and “plus raw power” when he connects, though Badler notes that Robert has some issues in making contact and is “often pull-oriented.” Robert is a good athlete who should play center field in the minors with a chance to remain at the position, and he also possesses quite a bit of running ability. He was already rated in the 55-60 range (on the 20-80 scouting scale) speed-wise while in Cuba, and Badler said that scouts watching Robert in recent Dominican Republic workouts had clocked him at even faster 60-yard dash times.
Signing Robert is the latest step in White Sox GM Rick Hahn’s rebuilding plan, and Chicago has amassed an enviable amount of young talent just over the last six months. The Pale Hose already added the likes of Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Dane Dunning in two blockbuster trades with the Red Sox (for Chris Sale) and the Nationals (Adam Eaton). Robert will slot right in near the top of Chicago’s prospect ranking list, rivaling Moncada for sheer potential, as MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez recently illustrated.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) was the first to report a deal was close. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman was first to report that Robert’s deal was in the $25MM-$30MM range.
He also changed his Instagram pic to one with him wearing a Sox hat! Woohoo!
Ahhh the Instagram picture, a sure sign he’s made it in life…out of Cuba and into the world of social media. :/
Incidentally, he switched to that pic before his signing was announced with the White Sox last week.
that farm system is stacked and getting even better. White sox fans should be excited about the future
Yes! HELL yes!
50M is a lot for a risky player in that market
“It’s what’s wrong with baseball”!
At least that’s what would be printed all over this blog if any big market teams especially the Yankees opened up the bank to pay a 19 yo kid 50 plus million dollars in total!
He could have all the talent in the world but that’s ridiculous!
If the Yanks signed this kid the crying on here would be relentless and I don’t recall the Yankees ever paying a kid that much money or even coming close to handing out a contract like that. Yes they have paid major league free agents huge contracts or Japanese professional players big contracts or even older international players nice money but a 19yo?
It’s what’s wrong with baseball and I hope the little guys like the Yankees get some salary relief from these big spending teams!
It is whats wrong with baseball… which is why they put a cap on it. Spending 50M in a relatively non-elite market for a 19 year old is a risky albeit not terrible move.
The White Sox can’t spending a ton on guys who have a high bust rate
Cry me a river billyballs. Yanks do not get him. Get over it
“I hope the little guys like the Yankees…”
Are you serious? The Yankees are the most overspending team of all time probably. LOL
I sense the sarcasm in his post.
Dang. They have some of the highest ceilings of any prospects in their farm. High risk, high reward on basically everyone. Going to be fun to see how it plays out for them.
Giolito only one that worries me. Velocity down and control issues. If this process works they can be a contender in 2019-2020 especially with high draft pick this year and possibly next. Nice to see them invest in young talent on offense lately…been too long since they had an all star that was their own farm hand.
I mean offensively. I know some people will mention Sale and Buehrle in my last comment. Mags was last all star I believe offensively for the sox that was strictly their own.
Joe Crede was a homegrown WhiteSox prospect and made the All Star team in 2008, but yeah it’s been a while.
Thank you! They don’t have a history of success developing their own position players, drafting either. If it wasn’t for the Sale and Eaton trades, they would be terrible. But no real changes were made to get people to help develop the young guys. Williams preferred to keep his yes men. If they’re not in first place in 2-3 years maybe then they’ll fire Williams. In the meantime I hope their minor-league staff doesn’t ruin these guys.
I am not as worried about Giolito. The control is a bit of a concern, but he is striking out people. He is only 22. So he has 2-3 years to get that corrected and be a contributor for a long time.
It was only one game, but Giolito did throw a 7-inning no-hitter in his last outing and after your comment in the hitter-friendly confines of his home park in Charlotte. He has pitched better as of late in addition to that no-no.
Ah well, good for him
Wow now if they trade Quintana they’ll be stacked for years to come.
I think right now Q trade value isn’t as high as previous years. His BB rate is higher than most years. He hasn’t been crisp besides last night. If I were them I’d hold onto him until the offseason because after Yu and Arietta and Cueto (player opt) sign elsewhere, teams will be calling Hahn for Q.
i agree with you although there’s plenty of time for him to restore value in time for deadline
Jesus, its a month and half into a season where he’s been the top trade bait topic in the game for 5 months.
struck our 7 walked 1 last night.
his trade value is the same as it was all that time.
kidaplus, i agree with you but that guy was implying that for some reason it’s went down. So i was saying that even if his value did go down there aplenty of time…
raz427, holding on to Quintana until the offseason is a plausible option because it will give the White Sox more time to let a bidding war develop among the interested teams. Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for making a trade at the deadline with a contending team that is desperate to make the playoffs…desperate enough, perhaps, to give up a package similar to the one the Cubs sent to the Yankees for two months of Aroldis Chapman last season. Quintana did have a rough first month, but I suspect that that will have minimal negative effect on his value given his age, his health, what he’s done for the past four+ seasons as well as a very team friendly contract.
Torres is a ridiculous talent but the Chapman package is still aiming low for Quintana, deadline or offseason.
EverlastingDave, you may be correct about the Chapman package, but the Yankees must have seen something they liked about McKinney and Crawford. Besides, they got Torres and a valuable bullpen piece in Warren for nothing, in effect, because they re-signed Chapman. Ultimately that rendered McKinney and Crawford almost irrelevant as far as that trade is concerned. I can’t recall anything similar to that having happened before. Having said that, I agree with you that the White Sox should really put the squeeze on any team which wants Quintana although I think that’s something that’s easier to do that at the August 1 deadline rather than in the off-season. In the off-season, when every team’s record is 0 – 0, it’s easier for a team to rationalize its inactivity by rambling on and on about “protecting our prospects” A team that’s in a battle for a playoff spot, however, is in a completely different situation and simply cannot assume that it will be there again next season. Consequently, a team might become just anxious enough and more inclined to pull the trigger on a trade it wouldn’t consider making in the off-season.
Its been just over a month and a half into the season, calm down. I think the only ones that feel his trade value isn’t as high are the ones whose teams want Quintana.
I blame most of the high walks on both cold weather and umps pinching pitchers in the strike zone a lot this season (which is interesting considering MLB want to speed up the games).
His control is already coming back and he should be fine once it warms up and the umps figure out the strike zone again. Q just needs to get to a team that knows how to hit with him on the mound.
While I know it’s not the best stat to look at for pitchers, Q has a 3.29 ERA since his first start, which was admittedly brutal. Through his 4 starts so far in May, he has a 2.57 ERA and 23/10 K/BB in 28 innings. I think it’s safe to say that he’s back on track (or very close to it), and his value has certainly not gone down since the start of the year.
Yes. Like ERA, the QS stat isn’t always the best barometer of a starting pitchers effectiveness either. But Quintana has given the White Sox 5 quality starts in his last 6 outings which indicates he is once again giving the club at least 6 innings per each of those contests, putting less of a burden on the team’s bullpen while most others in the rotation have been struggling as of late.
“Q” is not pitching as well as normal thus far but still has 6 quality starts in his 10 outings in 2017. His high ERA is mostly the results of 3 awful innings in which he allowed 6 earned runs once and 5 two other times, accounting for 16 of the 33 he has allowed in his 61.2 inning of work.
It might also be noted that the 2017-2018 free agent class of starting pitchers is not looking nearly as good as it once did. Jake Arrieta has been pretty bad with the Cubs thus far, already having allowed 1o HR’s while trying to adjust from a 4-5 loss of fastball velocity. Masahiro Tanaka has also struggled mightily with the Yankees and looks unlikely to opt out of his contract as I post. Johnny Cueto also needs to opt out of his deal to become a FA next offseason and the other premium starter, Yu Darvish comes with durability issues.
Worth the risk
Thank you to Rick, JR and KW. You made me one happy Sox fan today.
Robert is going to be perfect growing in that system with all those other studs. I agree on giolitto, he is has been inconsistent to say the least since the trade.
A team which is rebuilding requires fans to have an enormous amount of patience because there will be growing pains with young players such as Giolito even after they’ve made it to the Majors. Giolito has a nice looking mom, too.
Giolito is where is supposed to be. Just because the Nats rushed him to the majors does not mean he is close to being in an MLB rotation. The guy to watch in that trade could actually be Dunning as he is doing really well so far..
Yes. It also should be pointed out that the top two pitching prospects the White Sox acquired from the Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, are pitching their home games in a hitter-friendly park in Charlotte. The cooler spring weather could also be effecting their command somewhat.
Lopez is pitching better and I would expect him to be the first AAA rotation member to be recalled this summer once the White Sox start dealing some of their veteran starters. Carson Fulmer is also pitching effectively and might be in line for a promotion to the White Sox starting rotation come July or August. Once Giolito gets promoted, he might especially benefit from some hands on tutelage from White Sox pitching guru Don Cooper. Giolito had a pretty good spring camp under Cooper’s watchful eye.
Dane Dunning, the third top pitching prospect acquired from the Nats in the Eaton trade started out the season virtually unhittable at A-Kannapolis. He has cooled off considerably since being promoted to A+ Winston Salem with his command especially taking a hit. Nevertheless, Dunning was still a well regarded college pitcher who was the Nats #1 pick in the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft, selected just 3 picks after the White Sox chose Zack Burdi who is their closer at AAA.
The White Sox gave strong consideration to using Burdi’s slot for Dunning and wound up with both pitchers anyway. Burdi will likely be the first top White Sox pitching prospect to get a promotion from Charlotte in the coming weeks or months. He may not replace David Robertson immediately when the White Sox deal their veteran closer but should become the heir apparent to the role sooner rather than later.
thats a lot of cash. time to convince mike rizzo to trade robles for robertson
Rizzo should get fired on the spot giving up a potential 5 tool player just for an average closer lol. sox still need help at C and 3B. Davidson is finally healthy after the Addison Reed deal but is he the long term solution? They haven’t had a quality 3B since Crede in his prime.
i don’t even think davidson is the short term solution. we’ll see what happens in the draft i suppose
Davidson reportedly has done fairly well at 3rd.. Could wind up being at 1b/DH with Delmonico holding down the fort at 3rd until the Sox can draft a good 3rd baseman. Besides, does Frazier really ‘look’ like a 3rd basemen?
Neither are good defenders. Delmonico likely sees more time between LF/1B/DH than 3B.
I agree Rizzo should get fired if he does that. Even if the Sox pay 90% of Robertson’s remaining salary, that’s too high. They might be able to pry Fedde away, though, if they pay down enough on Robertson.
“Average closer”? Really? Outside of last year, he has been a fantastic closer for a LONG time, and he’s continuing that trend this year. Since 2011, he’s 4th in fWAR for all relievers, and he has a 2.61/2.59/2.69 ERA/FIP/xFIP. He has K’d over 12 batters per 9 in all but 2 of those years, and he has walked 3.22 or under in all but 2 of those years. Last year was the only year since 2011 where he has been under 12 K’s and over 4 walks in the same year, and he was supposedly pitching hurt most of the year.
And no, this is not even close to me saying he should bring Robles back in a trade. He’s not Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, or the magnificent Brad Hand (sarcasm, for those who can’t tell). But he has certainly been a fantastic reliever for a long time, and to call him anything less (especially calling him average) is pretty ridiculous.
Stop this garbage
Opening this article I received a “free $1000 amazon gift card”. Never seen that before as an ad but I can’t believe it’s real. Just wanted to give you guys at Trade Rmors a heads up
Also I’m a little salty that the cards didn’t sign him, they have no reason NOT to go all in this year
Rumor has it that the Cards outbid the White Sox, but Robert was more impressed with Chicago’s presentation and culture.
Cause it is not real and likely some malware pop up for you to give up personal information or load more malware on your computer.. congrats.
Indicative of the Cardinals future plans. But, good luck to the player.
they outbid the sox apparently but robert was more attractive to guys like renteria and jose who made a video to convince him
Robertson for Robles. That’s pretty funny. Washington wouldn’t trade Robles for Quintana AND Robertson. He’s their future when Bryce leaves after next year.
And that is why you are not a GM. 4 years of Quintana and a Closer (which is a huge need) would be a steal for just one 19 yr old prospect.
I agree that Robles for Robertson would not happen on it’s own. But Robertson for Soto possibly.
He will be a bust
Had he signed wit the padres, he’d be a future hof though, yes?
smell that? The smell of sour grapes?
In Hahn we trust!
it’s amazing how white soxs fans have changed their attitude so much on the front office, but i don’t blame them
It’s not at all amazing. Rick Hahn has finally been allowed to make choices and Kenny WIlliams has been given a gameboy to play with while he sits in the corner.
yeah which is exactly what i was saying… sox fans went from hating their front office because of kenny to know loving it because of hahn. pretty amazing
Its not amazing. KW made trades based on the stats on the back of baseball cards and depleted the minor league system for a bunch of past their prime players who had no hope of helping this club when they needed it. He let Beckham get all messed up after his first season by allowing a goof like Walker try to get him to be a homer hitter instead of a doubles machine. He trades Gio Gonzalez not once, but twice. Dare I say Nick Swisher? Did he help get a WS to Chicago? Yes, but after all the years of mediocrity after one has to think that was a matter of great luck than being an expert GM.
Rizzo’s never going to trade Robles or Turner! NEVER!!!
That’s right… Sox building that juggernaut farm system. Keep it up, boys!
Cardinals better go all in on Otani when the time comes. Disappointed in them.
They can’t. They’re in the penalty.
Exactly. This was the only real chance for the Cardinals to acquire premium amateur talent this year, and they got outbid (pretty much par for the course at this point)
Reportedly the Sox did not outbid the Cards, but Robert chose the Sox anyway.
Dan Hayes reporting the Cards offered more $.
Hahn and KW brought a video narrated by RR with Abreu and Moncada urging Robert to come to Chi, when they went to see him workout. That convinced him.
The only players the White Sox can entice to come to the South Side. It’s similar to their country when it comes to violence so they feel right at home.
Now try signing a proven MLB elite is another story.
They simply don’t have the payroll to sign a proven MLB elite payroll. Those players make 30m/yr
They will be shedding so much payroll over the next 2-3 years, maybe they make a legit run at Machado with the savings.
They will never sign a big name FA after the debacle by Albert Belle in 1998. Jerry thinks it’s 1950s baseball and not spend a single penny on elite MLB talent. I’ve never seen a team basically refusing to even talk with FAs represented by a certain agent. Those kind of actions, lots of MLB players look at and tell their close teammates I bet.
You do know they offered Tanaka huge money right? They’ve also been in on other big time free agents, but honestly what big time free agents who have signed big contracts worked out?
Now the 2018 class will change things. Sox will have a ton of money available and could go get one of the big time free agents.
My worry is that it when they do make a bid on one of those free agents, it will be for another past-his-prime slugger who struggles to get on base.
wrigleyville is actually much more dangerous than bridgeport, whether it be drunken fans looking to fight or the huge influx of outsiders coming in now looking for soft targets.
much more likely to get jumped or a gun stuck in your face at belmont & sheffield, than 35th and shields.
people know better than to go into to bridgeport and pull that sh%t.
No one wants to go near 35th and the Dan Ryan period. Look at all the empty games seats in the rare years when the White Sox are winning. Wrigley sells out every day. Sell Your Soul Field or whatever they call it now didn’t sell out on opening day against the AL Central rival Tigers. I bought my son and daughter in law tickets for opening day for her and several of her students from UIC on game day. Sox fans are really, really bad. They sure come on message boards, but never go to games and at least part of that is the place they chose to put that pathetic excuse for a ballpark.
I’m glad you chose the safer option for your daughter. You are a good father.
His point was you can get tickets to Sox games easy and cheap
You sound like a Cubs fan…lots of ridicule, but very few facts.
My previous comment was directed to outinleftfield.
Brett The Wolfman
What is wrong with you? Are you a Cubs fan? You try to take a shot a the parks Location, the parks name and attendance. And you are wrong, Sox fans really don’t post on the White Sox sites message board but if they put a good product on the field the fans will come. When I lived in Chicago I went to 25 games a year. But I think on opening day Cody Ash was the DH so I understand the stadium not being filled. If your a Cubs fan be happy you won. Did you guys go 11-1 in the playoffs with a team that was not even in the top ten in payroll? The Cubs payroll was top 5 at least and they did not go 11-1 in the playoffs. And you must be a scared little man not wanted to go to 35th street. I went and played basketball at 95th and the dan Ryan and was not scared. But taking shots at anything other then the product is just you being a little weasel. Peace and love to all
Well, they won in 2005, right?
Finished 17th in the MLB in attendance. So much for that theory.
71.2% filled. Not too impressive, and doesn’t support your narrative.
Go back to your beer garden and take your selfie. Wrigley is a tourist attraction, and most of the ‘fans’ there only go to be ‘seen’ there.
It doesn’t matter what you go in the playoffs as long as you win it. Also, Cubs payroll was not top 5 it was ranked 12th last year. Get your facts right.
Dream on kidaplus
Well put, kidaplus. You took the words right out of my mouth.
Yeah, they’d actually need fans to show up to games in order to have an equal amount of crime. Bridgeport is a dump. No one wants to go there anyways.
Hello Cubbie Clowns! Sox make a great signing and enter the Cubbie Clowns with their usual nonsense – socioeconomic, racist tinged smears.
So much for the BS about how Cubbie fans don’t care about the Sox.
It’s not a great singing, just an expensive one. Give it about 5 years to see what happens,
Says the guy who has no idea about the world outside of the Internet…
Signing big money FAs is not a way to build a team. They’ve been mired in mediocrity due to Kenny, and finally decided to do a tear down of sorts, build a team that could be good for awhile.
Translation: Wah, my team did not get him, wahhh.
Maybe don’t say things about our city when you clearly know nothing about it. Besides the fact that it’s patently untrue that the sox are unable to ever attract free agents, what’s your problem with signing Cuban players?
So it appears it wasn’t all about the money after all. The Cardinals reportedly offered more but the White Sox presentation that included video testimonials from Spanish speaking manager Rick Renteria along with fellow countryman Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada swung the deal in their favor…just like I suggested it might months ago.
The story can be found with the following: http://www.csnchicago.com/chicago-white-sox/video-pitch-helps-white-sox-sign-potential-cornerstone-luis-robert-loaded-farm-system-renteria-moncada-abreu
Lot of money for 19 year old. Hope works out for them.
Rodon better start producing with his high draft selection. Hahn looks like he knows what he’s doing it just took 3-4 years too late. If he had the full roster control like he does now then who knows where this team would be when they had some decent trade chips?
Yeah, I think it took the train wreck of having Robin mismanaging this club for JR to lose faith in KW being the exec GM (finally) and gave Hahn much more latitude to do what he wanted. The reality is the Sox have been ‘tanking’ for 5 years, but just could not face that fact because KW’s ego could not admit that he over reacted to Ozzie by bringing in a wet noodle that obviously did not earn the respect of his players. I have much more faith in Hahn and their new player scout guy in Hostetler
Maybe its because Kenny is letting him do his job now
It’s a lot of money but it’s not all that outlandish.
Let’s say he gets $25 mil for a signing bonus and the sox pay $25 mil in penalties. Also lets say over the 6 years they control him he will earn $27 mil in salary (assuming 3 years at league minimum then 3 years of arbitration for around 8 mil a year). That is $77 mil total invested by the white sox. If we assume a cost of $8 mil per WAR, Robert will only have to produce 1.6 WAR per year for the investment to at least break even. Sure there a chance he will be a bust, but if the Sox get even average starting production out of him (2.o – 3.0 WAR) for a sustained period their investment will pay off.
Why $8 million for the WAR
That’s the market value for WAR based on 2016 FA signings, at least according to fangraphs.
Wow, what a signing. Meanwhile, 19 year old prospects in the US are subject to the draft and end up having to sign for a pittance compared to this kid.
You can put it on the booooooooooooard, YES!
Thank you Sox for taking a chance on this kid. I hope he can live up to the hype that has been assigned to him. We do need another outfielder who can hit and run-as I expect to see Cabrera being moved this year for sure. The next big problem for the Sox is catcher. Our current group appears hapless at the plate and just mediocre behind it. Possibly Collins will fill the bill in the future. Keep on working front office guys-you have plenty to do.
Brett The Wolfman
Well we will see if Collins is good, I want a catcher that can call a great game, plays great D including framing. That’s better then a catcher that hits but can’t do any of the stuff I mentioned. Flowers is hitting 360 lol it does not matter cause we are rebuilding but that is crazy
I hate not getting Robert. And the fact that he received a higher offer from the Cardinals makes it even worse!!!! It shows how the outside elite players look at the. current organization. Carpenter has gone down the tubes by playing out of position and his never set, rocking at the plate. The manager has no clue how to make out a line up card and no clue as to when and how to use the bull pen. The General Manager can’t make a trade without coming out on the low end of the stick. Won’t pursue “young” talented free agents. Plus, allows Mike Matheney to constantly make the same mistakes in a ballgame over and over–failing– then use the same game plan time after time expecting different results. By that definition, Einstein concluded that was insanity!!!!!! So why would any top player at any level want to come to the Cardinals??? Bring Michael Girsch in as General Manager and Oquendo in as Manager and the Cards will quickly see improvement. All the others do is make the same excuses game after game. Good luck to young Robert and the White Sox!!!!
I think it’s a smart move for the White Sox, Hahn is playing all his cards right and hopefully us fans will see a pretty short rebuilding period.
Unrelated: isnt Avi Garcia so fun to watch this year?!
Garcia started to listen to the coaches this year apparently and is not trying to pull the ball 500 ft . I have been really critical of Avi and I’m glad that he is coming around and still young enough to be part of this rebuild… and finally making Hahn look like a genius on this trade from 3 years ago.
Luis Roberts scouting report as the #1 international prospect from the 2016 class:
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 70 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55
Widely considered the No. 2 international prospect behind Japanese dual phenom Shohei Ohtani, Robert profiles as a center fielder with plus power and speed. The five-tool player starred for Cuba’s 16-and-under league as a 14-year-old and began playing in the 18-and-under league at 15, hitting .325 and leading the league with 21 steals his first year. He sported a .383 batting average in the league at 16 and hit four home runs in the COPABE 18U Pan American Championship in 2014. He later was named to the all-tournament team in the 18-and-under World Cup in Japan in 2015.
Playing for Ciego de Avila in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, the island’s top league, Robert hit .393 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases last season. He was also part of the Cuban team that played against the Canadian-American League last summer. The 19-game tour included stops in Little Falls, N.J., and Pomona, N.Y.
Robert left Cuba last November and later established residency in Haiti. He was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball on April 20, making him eligible to sign May 20.
For comparison, White Sox 2B Yoan Moncada’s grades as MLB’s current overall #1 prospect:
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 65 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65
Cubbie fan, howiehandles13, said that this signing was meh.
Interesting info. Thanks for posting it.
Really happy about this move. It’s a lot of money for an unproven kid, but if Robert really does have a comparable ceiling to Moncada, he could be a huge steal. And if he’s a bust, it’s really no more money than they gave John Danks to be a disaster.
Great signing by the White Sox. As a Cubs fan, glad to see them make some good trades and signings for the future. It is good for the city of Chicago. Its expensive to sign a 19 year old to a contact like that one but sometimes you need to go all in. Hopefully, some of these prospects make a difference and the White Sox become competitive again.
one day, one day my sox vs your cubs in the WS. How awesome would that be for Chicago to be the center of the baseball universe?
great farm system!
When Sox sign Robert for $26m and they pay $50m total with taxes, do the taxes count against their yearly payroll?
I was hoping my Pads would get him, but I’m glad they didn’t sign him for $50 million. He’s gonna be a stud. Wish the Sox and Robert the best of luck. Maybe we could have a Cuban WS between the Chisox and Pads one day with all the players we both have signed from the island