International free agent Luis Robert is expected to sign with the Chicago White Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB’s Jesse Sanchez. The contract is reported to be in the $25-30 million range, which means it will require a total outlay in the neighborhood of $50 million due to overspending penalties.
The Oakland A’s were one of the teams legitimately in the running for the 19-year-old outfielder from Cuba, but they didn’t wind up landing him. Our recent look at the team’s finances suggested they probably shouldn’t go beyond a $15 million signing bonus, which is barely half of what Robert ended up getting.
Adding such a dynamic prospect would have been the cherry on top of an already successful international signing period that saw Oakland pick up outfielder Lazaro Armenteros and pitcher Norge Ruiz, among others. However, the deal for Robert is in another stratosphere than what the A’s gave those players, who were each in the $1-3 million range. It was a nice dream, but dropping $50 million on a teenager who won’t even reach MLB for multiple years is not the kind of gamble Oakland can afford to make.