Cubs, Giants both lay claim to Martinez
Cuban outfield prospect Eddy Julio Martinez signed with the Chicago Cubs for $3 million, but a previous deal in place with the Giants has complicated the situation, according to industry sources.
Neither team confirmed the deal.
Martinez agreed to terms on a signing bonus worth $2.5 million on Oct. 3 with the Giants and later changed his mind. The deal, which the Giants did not confirm, was pending a physical and based on a series of texts and emails. Sources told MLB.com that Martinez's father was seeking a bonus closer to $3 million.
According to sources, Martinez signed the term sheet for the Cubs on Oct. 8 and filed it for approval by the Commissioner's Office one day later. The Giants submitted paperwork claiming a deal with Martinez the day after they came to terms. However, representatives for Martinez claim the player did not sign a term sheet for the Giants or the sworn statement that says a Cuban player is in compliance with Section 515.05 of Cuban Assets Control Regulations in order to sign with a Major League team.
Martinez is represented in the Dominican Republic by trainers Aldo Marrero and Amauris Nina. He is represented in the United States by Beverly Hills Sports Council. It was Marrero and Nina who made the deal with the Cubs. It was BHSC that made the deal with the Giants.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Martinez is ranked No. 4 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospect list.
Martinez, 20, was among the first Cuban players eligible to sign during the international signing period. However, he later found himself in a competition for attention with top Cuban prospects like outfielder Yusnier Diaz, 18, and Vladimir Gutierrez, 19, and others who entered the market in search of deals with Major League teams. Martinez left Cuba in November, established residency in Haiti in February and has been training in the Dominican Republic.
The right-handed hitting Martinez has a quick and compact power stroke. He's shown the ability to hit home runs to all fields and work the count. He's speedy out of the box and shows base-stealing potential. He has also shown good instincts on defense and the ability to cover the gaps in the outfield. Those skills combined with a playable and accurate arm could mean Martinez should stay in center field as he develops.
The outfielder played for Cuba's junior national teams in Mexico and Venezuela and spent two seasons with Las Tunas in Cuba's Serie Nacional, the island's top league. Martinez is set to join a class of top international prospects for the Cubs that includes shortstop Yonathan Perlaza, ranked No. 15; outfielder Yonathan Sierra Estiwal, ranked No. 18; shortstop Aramis Ademan, ranked No. 21; and Panamanian catcher Miguel Amaya, ranked No. 26.