This has been rumored for months, and today the Cubs have signed Dominican shortstop prospect Cristian Hernandez:
$3 million is the largest bonus the Cubs have ever given to a 17-year-old amateur from the Dominican Republic. Per this article by Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com, the Cubs still have a bit more than $2 million remaining to sign international free agents.
Here’s some video of Hernandez:
The #Cubs are expected to sign Cristian Hernandez, a 17-year-old shortstop from Dominican Republic,— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 15, 2021
with an advanced swing for his age, plenty of bat speed and easy, easy power, per @BenBadler. pic.twitter.com/UYhFo9HGQz
Here’s more video of Hernandez:
The Chicago Cubs have officially signed 17-year old shortstop, Cristian Hernandez from the DR!— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) January 15, 2021
Hernandez is ranked the 6th best prospect in the 2020-2021 international class and has drawn comparisons to Manny Machado and a young Alex Rodriguez. #Cubs
( : @BaseballAmerica) pic.twitter.com/z3H1kgZIqe
Here are some other IFA’s the Cubs are expected to sign Friday, the first day of the international signing period in 2021:
On Friday, the Cubs are set to sign 5 international free agents. Most Cubs fans know Cristian Hernandez, but the Cubs should sign OF Daniel Ferreria (Throws R/ Bats R; DR), LHP Carlos Cabrera (VZ), OF Oferman Hernandez (R/L; DR), and C Moises Ballesteros (R/L) pic.twitter.com/3v7OHCJR5b— Duke Leto Atreides (@RealCubsAnalyst) January 10, 2021
More on Ballesteros:
Cubs signed left-handed hitting C Ronnier Quintero out of Venezuela for $2.9m last year. Come next period, the Cubs are linked to C Moises Ballesteros. The bat-first Ballesteros hit cleanup as the youngest player on the Venezuelan U12 World Cup team. pic.twitter.com/6R0TlcQlcs— tyler j. spicer (@tylerjspicer) July 22, 2020
The Cubs have not officially announced these signings yet, and these players are all a long way from the big leagues. They’ll likely all go to the Cubs’ Dominican academy first, where (among other things) they’ll get classes in English. They’re not likely to play in affiliated ball in the USA until the summer of 2022, and we’re probably talking about 2025 (at least) before any of these players have an impact on the major-league roster.
But it does appear the Cubs have done well with today’s signings.