The Chicago Cubs completed part one of what they hope to be a Cuban Three Party. Similar to when the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association having Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett; and the Miami Heat having Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James; the Cubs are hoping to have their own party of three. The first invite to the party was 18 year old left handed starting pitcher Gerardo Concepcion. Concepcion to multi-year major league deal that is worth $7 million. The Cubs are now hoping that they can add Cuban outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler to the party as well. The addition of Concepcion has already improved the Cubs’ farm system, as Kevin Goldstein projects Concepcion as the Cubs’ sixth top prospect. After the Jump, we travel around Cubs nation to see the reactions to the Cubs signing Concepcion.
- In his report of the signing, Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune quotes Concepcion’s agent in saying that pitcher may be couple seasons away from being major league ready.Concepcion will likely make his professional debut with the Daytona Cubs and progress from there. My hope is that Concepcion does face major league hitters in Spring Training as that would another way of determining just how far off he is from being major league ready.
- Enrique Rojas of ESPN notes that Concepcion could earn up to $8 million through incentives that will be included in the contract. Unlike the expected contracts of Cespedes, Soler, and the one that Aroldis Chapman signed with the Cincinnati Reds, Concepcion’s base salary is lower because of his age. While Soler is 19 years old as well, it is expected that he will receive a contract that is worth around $14 million. Cespedes on the other hand, is expected to receive at least $50 million in the contract that he signs.
- FanSided’s own Call To The Pen also shared their thoughts on the Concepcion signing. Most of the article is fluff, but Call To The Pen staff writer Blaine Blontz included Concepcion’s stats from his 2010-11 rookie of the year campaign in Cuba’s primary amateur league. Concepcion was 10-3 with an ERA of 3.36 in 21 appearances while earning rookie of the year honors.
I, for one, like the signing of Concepcion. It all goes backs to President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer creating that stream of talent that connects the minor league system to the major league team. Concepcion, who some project as a bottom-end starting pitcher, is one of those talented players that the Cubs’ brass has been seeking all off-season. Concepcion was rated as the third best prospect, an best pitching prospect to come out of Cuba this season.