Mike Rankin and James Fox reacted to the 2023 Chicago White Sox international signing period, which included the No. 41 ranked pitcher in the class. Then, Mike and James learned about a development in left-handed pitcher Noah Schultz’s game that left them excited. They also talked about a valuable add to the team’s front office.
Spotify — https://open.spotify.com/show/3n2MHOBJsncp3DjHbcjXZL
Apple — https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/futuresox-podcast/id850054474
Podbay — https://podbay.fm/p/futuresox-podcast
Lots of questions about retaining pool money and signing Cuban defectors:
–When exactly do Cuban defectors become available to sign, and how does that process work?
–Is it dependent on the Cuban govt., the US govt.?
–Is it possible that the White Sox have inside information on who is likely to become available within the year they have to use the pool money?
–Is retaining pool money to be able to sign Cubans in this way an actual strategy for the Sox, or it just happens that way sometimes?
–If it’s a strategy, is it a good strategy — i.e., do we have any idea of whether retaining money to use in this way gets them more value than they would otherwise be able to get?
–My main thought is that the Sox may have some inside information on when/who will become available to sign in this way (vaguely legit connections, less legit connections, who knows?), and they retain money with specific people in mind, but I have no idea whether that is likely.
Those who defect from Cuba are cleared to sign by MLB once they’ve established residency in the country to which they defect.
Unless the Sox are helping the players to defect and establish residence through a foreign govt., an extraordinarily unlikely scenario, they have no informational advantage.
The $ left in the pool matches the amount they reportedly offered Morales, before he went to the A’s.
No plan B, sounds like the White Sox way.
More like a badly executed Plan A. Also a White Sox way.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the reason for their focus on Cuban prospects is that they need no development organization to pursue them. While they may pay a bit more overall in signing bonuses it’s the super cheap method to international scouting.
There’s also the level of competition in Cuba, which, while not what it was twenty years ago, is probably still the best pipeline in the international amateur market. The kids coming out of the Cuban leagues have faced professional competition so they have a bit more of an advanced feel for the game in a lot of cases, closely equivalent to high level collegiate prospects, I’d estimate.
To further elaborate, the White Sox have a history of targeting advanced prospects and not relying on projectability. This has resulted in them targeting collegiate players who are largely maxed out and have to hit quickly or go bust (Collins, Fulmer, Burger, Madrigal, Vaughn, etc.) and similarly in the international market where they’ve often doled out their biggest bonuses to older players like Yolbert Sanchez and Yoelquis Cespedes. Their recent actions suggest they’re now leaning more towards younger players (finally).