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Storylines: White Sox land Cuban prospect Luis Robert

The Chicago White Sox added to their pool of young talent on Saturday as they reportedly signed Luis Robert, a highly touted prospect out of Cuba.

Top Storylines:

- The Chicago White Sox keep on improving their collection of young talent as they eye towards the future to launch a brand new team.  The White Sox have landed the services of top Cuban prospect Luis Robert per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.  The deal will be worth a little more than $25MM.  Although he is only 19-years-old, the Cuban youngster Robert has drawn rave reviews for his hitting skills as he has both the bat speed and raw power to be a prolific hitter at the major league level.  He also possesses a vast amount of speed which should make him a deadly runner on both the base paths and in the field as he is expected to be able to stick as a center fielder.  The White Sox are sacrificing quite a bit to invest in Robert at the moment.  Due to his large contract, the White Sox actually exceeded their international signing pool bonus and will be paying in the range of $50-$60MM due to both the bonuses in Robert’s contract and the taxes they will incur by exceeding the pool.  The White Sox will also be restricted in the next two international signing periods by being limited to signing prospects to contracts worth no more than $300K apiece.  By taking on all these penalties, the White Sox are betting big and putting all their chips on the fact that Robert will develop as a top-tier player and help revitalize a franchise that has seen a downward turn of fortunes over the past few years.

Other Storylines:

- Tampa Bays righty reliever Shawn Tolleson has seen his season come to a crashing stop as he reportedly underwent Tommy John surgery earlier in the week per a team announcement.  Tolleson will miss the entire 2017 season and also a good chunk of the 2018 season due to the lengthy recovery time of the infamous procedure.  It has been quite a reverse of fortunes for the right-hander since enjoying a dominant season as the closer for the Texas Rangers in 2015.

- The Houston Astros are reportedly showing strong interest in Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  The Astros are on the hunt for another top pitcher to add to their rotation as they seek to dominate the AL West Division and capture the title to send them to the postseason.  The Astros have a nice collection of young talent in the minor leagues and are more than capable of putting together an attractive package for the services of Cole.  It’s just a question if the Pirates are willing to actually consider moving their prized right-hander after investing so much in his development since picking him No.1 overall in the 2011 draft.

- The Miami Marlins are reportedly interested in finding a trade partner for second baseman Dee Gordon per Cafardo.  Gordon has underperformed since getting slapped with an 80-game PED suspension last season, but is owed a total of $38MM from 2018 through 2020 as a result of his five-year extension he signed back in the offseason before the 2016 season.  Finding a trade partner looks to be a challenge given the amount of money owed to him for the foreseeable future.

- The Red Sox are showing trade interest in White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier per Cafardo.  The Red Sox have virtually no depth at the position due to the injuries of Pablo Sandoval and Marco Hernandez.  They also have gotten very little offensive production from the hot corner. Frazier’s power should play well at Fenway Park, but he is struggling to start the season and is owed $12MM. The White Sox are reportedly willing to eat some of the money in an effort to move him and continue to bring in more young talent.

- The Atlanta Braves have acquired first baseman Matt Adam and cash considerations from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Yepez per a club announcement.  The Braves lost their starting first baseman Freddie Freeman for at least two months with a wrist fracture and needed some more depth at the position.  Adams, whom was once regarded as a key fixture in the Cardinals lineup, has seen his playing time decrease due to the Cardinals moving Matt Carpenter to first base, leaving Adams with very little playing time.  He has been productive in his short amount of playing time as he has hit .292/.340/.396 with one home run in just 53 plate appearances.  He has plenty of pop from the left side of the plate, but his defense is not up to par with his bat.  Nonetheless, he should serve as an adequate replacement for Freeman for a short while.

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