The hunt for the last big Cuban signing possible under the old international free agent rules is over: the White Sox are signing Luis Robert. Ken Rosenthal reported it first with Jon Heyman confirming the news shortly thereafter. This, quite frankly, is huge.
In 53 games as a 19 year old in the Cuban National Series, Robert hit .401/.526/.687 with 12 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and 38 walks to 30 strikeouts. Once more, he was 19 when he did this. The Sox already impressive farm system will now be a consensus top 3 system when Robert comes north, joining either Kannapolis (most likely) or Winston-Salem (if Rick Hahn & Co want to get really aggressive).
Whatever the final contract figures are, it will cost the Sox double due to the overage tax, but that’s not the important thing right now. The important thing is that for the first time in seemingly forever, the White Sox have outbid the other 29 teams for a top notch international prospect (Jose Abreu was already fully-matured and does not count). No one enjoys watching a rebuild, but the Sox are at least giving the rebuild every possible chance to pay off down the road.
Moreover, Robert is a potential impact position player prospect, something the White Sox still could desperately use more of, as their top outfield prospect otherwise is Luis Alexander Basabe and not much else. BP’s Jeff Paternostro recently gave a heavily qualified estimate that Robert represents a high risk player who may sit just outside the global Top 10.
Nice to land one of those without even using a first round pick or trading an ace.
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