Like Morales 8 noted in a comment here, Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin is indeed the Keyser Soze of baseball right now. ther is just no information out there. I just spent all night looking for anything pertinent about him. I found one video (LINK). Not much else. Baseball America did not list him in their October 27 Ten Cubans Still Available column. He was born some time in 1994, he played his first season in the Cuban big leagues (equivalent to somewhere between AA and AAA).
What we do know is that the Angels signed him to a contract with an $8 Million signing bonus when their league-mandated cap on International Signings was just under $3 Million. They will fined for this insurrection but at the end of the day, Arte got a prize - even if nobody outside a few baseball scouts knows exactly what that prize is.
The Cubs signed Cuban superstar Jorge Soler to a nine-year, $30 Million contract that allows him to opt out at his first season of arbitration eligibility, when the Cubs will have already paid him $18 million. So the Angels got Baldoquin for half of what the Cubs got Soler for and will have him under their control for a considerably longer period of time.
Does this mean the Halos are going to trade David Freese or Howie Kendrick?
Maybe, but I tend to think probably not. Consider the logic of keeping them both.
- Baldoquin might be ready and he might not.
- If he is ready, then Freese or Kendrick make sense as trade chips in July.
- If he is not, hey, we have Freese and Kendrick who combined for 8 WAR last season, that is not the worst 2B/3B tandem in baseball.
- The punishment for going over the International Draft maximum spending are a cap of 300K over the next two seasons. Since the Angels are now limited with international signings they can offer Freese and Kendrick Qualifying Offers, get rebuffed and pick up American first and second round draft picks that they are free to pursue with greater fiscal freedom.
- Since they have already gone over the International Signing cap this season and will be paying a penalty because of this signing, Dipoto may use this opportunity to pursue another International Free Agent or two.
The above scenarios adds up to a clever, concerted effort to restock the depleted Halo minor leagues Dipoto's Baldoquin Logic starts with a belief in the fundamental soundness of the club that just won the division.
Knowing he can tinker very little with the team as is considering the spending cap, Jerry Dipoto is actually building the 2016 Angels knowing that he can adjust what goes into next season's team on a need-to-fix basis, much like he constructed a bullpen on the fly this season. It is actually a conservative strategy and just might work.