Cubs, top Venezuelan Torres agree to deal
Shortstop ranked No. 3 by MLB.com among international prospects
With the Majors' second-largest bonus pool, the Cubs were expected to be among the most active teams on the international market. They made their first big splash Tuesday afternoon, agreeing to terms with Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres and Colombian right-hander Erling Moreno.
The Cubs have not confirmed the signings.
Torres, 16, is ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list. He agreed to a $1.7 million deal with the Cubs, a baseball source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
Torres is considered the top player from Venezuela in this year's class and has the potential to flash all five tools. He has a compact swing with power to all fields, plays solid defense and throws with a strong, accurate arm. At 6-foot and 170 pounds, Torres isn't the biggest prospect on the market, but he has an athletic build and is strong for his size.
Moreno, also 16, is No. 17 on the Top 30 list. He trained at Team Renteria Baseball Academy in Barranquilla, Colombia, under the direction of brothers Edinson and Edgar Renteria.
Moreno's curveball and changeup have earned praise from scouts, who also think that his fastball, which usually sits in the mid-to-high 80s, should increase with velocity as he matures physically.
The Cubs started the signing period with just over $4.55 million to spend on the international market -- the $700,000 allotted to every team plus a bonus pool of more than $3.85 million. But between their trades with the Astros, Orioles and Dodgers on Tuesday, all of which involved international signing pool money, the Cubs upped their total to $5,520,300.
They have also been mentioned as a front-runner for Dominican outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the top overall prospect in this year's international class.