Yoelqui Céspedes, MLB.com’s No. 1 international prospect — and the younger half-brother of free-agent outfielder Yoenis Céspedes — has agreed to a deal with the White Sox for $2.05 million, according to industry sources.
The White Sox also agreed to deal with right-handed pitcher Norge Vera of Santiago, Cuba, who
The White Sox also agreed to deal with right-handed pitcher Norge Vera of Santiago, Cuba, who ranks No. 15 on the list, for $1.5 million.
The White Sox have not confirmed the deals.
Céspedes, 23, who is considered a five-tool player with above-average tools across the board, defected from the Cuban National Team in June 2019 while participating in the Can-Am League in New York. He eventually established residency in the Bahamas. While in Cuba, the outfielder played for his country’s World Baseball Classic and Caribbean Series teams. He also starred for Granma in Cuba’s Serie Nacional from 2015-17.
The son of Cuban baseball star Norge Luis Vera, the younger Vera has impressed evaluators with a fastball in the 94-to-97 mph range and emerging command. He has a chance to be a starter at the top of the rotation because of his projectable body, arm action and demeanor on the mound. He also features a slider, curveball and changeup.
According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Draft have the most money to spend on international prospects, with a pool of $6,431,000. Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft receive the second most at $5,889,600.
The White Sox have a bonus pool of $5,348, 100.
Unlike in previous years, teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club’s bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.