Nothing is official yet, but Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Cubs have agreed to a deal with Eloy Jimenez, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic who ranked as the No. 1 international prospect available this year according to both MLB.com and Baseball America.
Chicago made several moves yesterday to add significant international signing bonus money from other teams, although Sanchez says “another team was in the mix and offered more money.”
Jimenez is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound outfielder, but Ben Badler of Baseball America writes that he “has average raw power and a flat swing that results in hard line drives rather than loft power.” Of course, at 16 projecting more power development makes sense and Jimenez would definitely have been a high first-round pick if he were draft eligible.
If you’re interested in reading about the many big-money signings on the international market yesterday, I highly recommend BaseballAmerica.com’s coverage and specifically Badler’s posts on Twitter.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.