As expected, the Cubs have agreed to a deal with 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Fernando Cruz to open the 2024 international signing period. Though the team has not yet confirmed the deal, MLB Pipeline reports that Cruz will receive a $4 million bonus. That eats up a huge chunk of their $5.152 million pool, most of the rest of which will go to outfielder Robin Ortiz, catcher Diego Gonzalez, shortstop Juan Monzo, and righties Yander Maria and Frailin Alejo.
Not much is known about these guys outside of Cruz, but I’ll direct you over to North Side Bound for more info from some guys who dig into this stuff as well as anyone.
According to Pipeline, Cruz has an all-fields approach and could mature into a hitter who can produce 20-25 homers. He has good barrel control due to strong forearms and wrists, allowing him to make frequent contact despite a pretty raw-looking swing and aggressive mentality. His 6-foot, 180-pound frame already appears somewhat filled out and he is a plus runner with a strong glove.
As is typically the case with these very young players, it’ll probably be a while before we see them stateside.