The Chicago Cubs have signed Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
The deal includes a $3 million signing bonus.
Martinez's free agency has spurred a lot of controversy. He had reportedly agreed to a deal in principle with the Giants for a bonus of $2.5 million, to the point where GM Bobby Evans even mentioned and acknowledged the deal. However, he backed out of the deal, looking for a $3 million bonus, which the Cubs swooped in and offered.
The issue with Martinez is while he has official representation with Beverly Hills Sports Council's Rafa Nieves and others, he also employed multiple "buscones," or street agents, who also negotiated on his behalf. BHSC negotiated his deal with the Giants, while his street agents negotiated his deal with the Cubs.
Major League Baseball investigated the Martinez saga, determining if his deal with the Giants had binding, meaning whether it was official or not. If that was the case, then he would have had to sign with San Francisco regardless. It appears that did not happen.
Martinez is profiled here byJesse Sanchez of MLB.com, who notes that some scouts believe he could become an Andruw Jones-type player with his short, compact swing and athleticism.
As for the Cubs, they get to add Martinez to an already large crop of impressive international talent. They spent $8.65 million on international prospects on July 2 alone, meaning that they will have to pay a 100 percent tax on Martinez's deal and will spend a total of $6 million between his bonus and the tax.