White Sox Continue Building for Future With Signing of Luis Robert
Cuban free agent Luis Robert wastes no time and signs with the White Sox. The outfielder is considered to be one of the best available international prospects by many MLB scouts.
The Chicago White Sox added much needed outfield depth to its farm system with the signing of Luis Robert on Saturday. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first announced the deal, and was then followed by Jon Heyman.
The highly touted player became a free agent on April 20th, making him eligible to sign with a team as early as May 20th. According to Baseball America, the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, and Houston Astros were among the other clubs who expressed interest. However, as Ben Badler reported on Thursday, the two front runners to sign Robert were the Cardinals and White Sox.
Robert is considered by many scouts to be one of Cuba’s top prospects. During his 208-game career, the youngster split time between all three outfield positions, appearing at left field the most. Robert also hit .312 over a span of four seasons. If he continues to develop as the White Sox hope, he could become a viable part of the organization’s rebuilding efforts.
Although the White Sox were outbid by the Cardinals, a video presentation by manager Rick Renteria and fellow Cubans on the roster is what made the difference and led to the agreement according to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. This signing adds to Chicago’s long history of deals with Cuban-born players.
Some of the more recent players from the country to sign with the White Sox include Dayan Viciedo, Alexei Ramirez, and Jose Abreu. Additionally, second baseman Yoan Moncada, who was acquired from the Red Sox this past offseason, is another notable Cuban player within the organization.
This deal does have some ramifications for the White Sox. As reported by Baseball America, prior to signing Robert, the White Sox were under their signing bonus pool. However, with this new deal, they will exceed the limits and receive a penalty due to the financial costs. This penalty results in the team being restricted to future deals under $300,000 with international amateur players.
Next: White Sox Reportedly Sign Luis Robert
These signing pool restrictions for the White Sox will begin on July 2, 2017 and last for two years. However, this should not hurt the White Sox greatly as Robert possesses a unique skill set that is not matched by any of the up-and-coming prospects.