January 15 is the date when MLB teams can sign international free agents, that is, young players not subject to the Draft.
Today, the Cubs added three players for bonuses of over $1 million:
According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a $1.3 million deal with shortstop Alexis Hernandez, who ranks No. 18 on MLB.com’s Top 50 International Prospects list, and a $1.5 million deal with third baseman Adan Sanchez, who ranks No. 43. The club is also expected to sign shortstop Jefferson Rojas for $1 million.
The Cubs, who have a signing pool of $5,179,700, have not confirmed the deals.
There’s more information and video of the players at the link above. Alexis Hernandez is the younger brother of Cristian Hernandez, the Cubs’ top international signing a year ago. Cristian Hernandez hit .285/.398/.424 (45-for-158) with five home runs and 21 stolen bases in 47 games for the “Cubs Blue” affiliate in the Dominican Summer League in 2021.
Here’s more on how the international signing period works:
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association finalized a deal in March 2020 that addressed the international signing period during the pandemic. The 2022 international signing period runs through Dec. 15, the second year in a row the period — which previously began July 2 — started in January.
The current rules also state that teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club’s bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years old and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.
Welcome Alexis Hernandez, Adan Sanchez and Jefferson Rojas to the Cubs family. Hopefully in a few years we’ll see them all playing for the Cubs at Wrigley Field.