Chicago Cubs Land Cuban Lefty

The Chicago Cubs have signed Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion to a Major League contract worth $7 million plus incentives, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes Los Angeles.

At only 18 years of age, Concepcion was named this season’s Rookie of the Year in the Cuban Serie Nacional after pitching just over 100 innings. On the surface, his 10-3 record and a 3.36 ERA is astounding for a player of his age pitching against a high level of competition. However, his 1.23 K:BB ration and 4.75 FIP should bring expectations back down to earth.

The Cubs will hope that the 6’1”, 175 lbs youngster will grow a little and add velocity to his low nineties fastball, which according to reports, he uses to set up a plus curveball that goes along with a solid slider and changeup.

Concepcion was declared a free agent only last week when he established residency in Mexico. He garnered a lot of attention from Major League clubs, with Chicago ultimately winning his services. The Cubs have also been in on two other Cuban free agents: Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler.

With the new collective bargaining agreement placing a cap on acquisitions for players of Concepcion’s age and background, set to take effect this summer, the signing is at the very least well timed. Despite the Major League contract, Concepcion is expected to start this coming season only as high as Low A ball.


Comments (9)

  1. Good for the cubs. I hope AA got a chance to look at him before he signed. I also hope AA’s looking at Cespedes and Soler. I suspect ultimately they will decide that Cespedes isn’t worth the amount of money that he’ll be demanding, but maybe Soler is worth a smaller investment and some time in the Minors.

    • I wouldn’t be upset at all with my favourite team outbidding others for Soler. I’m not a scout, but I don’t understand the Cespedes appeal at all.

      • You mean 26 year olds who mash against AAA calibre talent and can jump really high and stuff AREN’T worth 50 million dollars???

      • Cespedes’ swing looked awfully wild & violent to me, albeit in a one game sample. He seemed like an all or nothing kind of guy. That works if you’re Adam Dunn, but there’s no track record suggesting Cespedes will be able to handle a steady diet of offspeed junk. I thought it was a red flag when they released a promotional video that had virtually no baseball footage in it, and was more a touting of Cespedes’ physical prowess/athletic ability.

        If the reports are true and Cespedes is more of a corner OF than MLB CF I don’t see any reason to pursue him. His bat would need to be THAT good for it to make sense. With Soler you have years of development for a kid with more Gose-like tools.

        Sign Soler!

  2. I want the Jays to go after Jose Abreu, who is the co-owner along with Cespedes of the Cuba league single season home run record, however his triple slash line was .453/.597/.986 (and no that’s not OBP/SLG/OPS, that is AVG/OBP/SLG), yes his batting average was .453!

    Of course there is the small matter that he hasn’t defected yet.

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