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 Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.
Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.
The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.