The White Sox have signed Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to a minor-league deal that includes a $26 million bonus, as first reported by FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The club officially announced the deal Saturday.
Robert, 19, was said to be deciding between the ChiSox and Cardinals this weekend after drawing interest from the Astros, Reds, Athletics and Padres. His signing process was significantly impacted by the fact the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Dodgers could not spend more than $300k on an international player.
Robert spent the 2016 season with Ciego de Avila of Cuba’s Serie Nacional, hitting .401/.526/.687 with 12 homers and 11 steals in 53 games. He is considered the top international prospect in baseball behind Japan’s Shohei Otani and could reach the majors as a center-fielder once he is ready.
Robert is not the first Cuban star to join the White Sox organization, as he joins first baseman Jose Abreu and top prospect Yoan Moncada in the organization. Chicago has gotten a fantastic performance (12.8 WAR over 497 games) from Abreu and is expecting Moncada to be a significant major league contributor after acquiring him a part of the package for Chris Sale last winter.