Chicago Cubs Sign an Additional Trio of International Prospects
As we discussed recently with the big international free agent signing out of Bulgaria (yes, the first prospect ever signed out of Bulgaria!), this is not the time of year you would typically expect to be seeing a flurry of IFA signings. But the Chicago Cubs are in signing mode, not only with Yoanis Aleksandrov out of Bulgaria, but also with a trio of prospects out of the Dominican Republic.
Per Ben Badler:
The Cubs have signed Elizaul Chalas, switch-hitting shortstop from the Dominican Republic. pic.twitter.com/wgJCj8Tq42
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) April 13, 2022
The Cubs have signed Melvin Amador, lefthanded pitcher from the Dominican Republic. pic.twitter.com/eTOJQSMxny
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) April 14, 2022
Wilmer Mora, RHP from the Dominican Republic, signs with the Cubs. pic.twitter.com/mf5FA2R1RE
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) April 13, 2022
Pitchers signing outside the typical period (mid-January now, but previously early July) was much less unusual, because the scouting – and early agreement – process for teenage pitching prospects sometimes just takes a different path. But a quick Google search on Chalas suggests he has been on the international prospect radar for multiple years now.
So how is it that these prospects, including Aleksandrov, who received a near six-figure bonus, are only just now signing? And how do the Cubs have IFA pool space left to sign them?
Well, a lot of possible answers there, but I don’t have any hard info. As with Aleksandrov, it’s possible the Cubs had been on him for a while, and knew they would have to reserve some IFA pool space to have a real shot at signing him. Maybe Chalas, for example, got a legit bonus, and the Cubs always knew they were going to need to save some for him (I don’t know if either of the pitchers might be that type, too). Or, it’s possible that these three new IFA signings received only very small bonuses of the type that don’t count against the pool.
It’s also possible that one or any of these guys had a preliminary agreement with some other organization that fell through late, and they were thus left to choose from only very small bonuses among the other interested organizations (one of the serious pitfalls of the current system, which you’ll recall is potentially changing to a draft). It’s ALSO possible that the Cubs had a deal of some financial consequence fall through, and they were thus left with extra IFA pool space to spend on the few prospects who were available to sign late.
A lot of possibilities when there is this kind of cluster of IFA signings months after the open of the period. It only matters if you are an uber prospecting nerd and want to know that nitty gritty, though. For most of this group, it’ll be years before they are (or are not) on our radar as legit Cubs prospects – such is the reality for international signings who were not huge bonus babies at the signing deadline.
Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.
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Ocean census aims to discover 100,000 previously unknown marine species
Researchers have embarked on an ambitious global initiative to discover and record marine life hidden in the world’s oceans.
Ocean Census aims to identify 100,000 unknown species in the next 10 years, allowing scientists to better understand and protect the deep-sea ecosystem.
There are huge gaps in our knowledge of the ocean depths. Of the 2.2 million species believed to exist in the Earth’s oceans, only 240,000 have been described by scientists, according to the census.
It typically takes scientists at least a year to definitively describe a species post-discovery, but new types of technology are making it much easier for sea creatures to be studied in their natural habitat. These include tools like underwater laser scanning that can scan gelatinous creatures such as jelly fish that are hard to study on land.
“You can now look at (the creature) in the water column and see what the morphology is and study them in situ,” said Jyotika Virmani, the executive director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute in Palo Alto, California, which will participate in the project.
“What we’re moving towards is a place where we can actually perhaps even do taxonomic identification in the water column instead of bringing everything back to land. And that’s really exciting and will make things move a lot faster.”
All living organisms, including humans, disperse genetic material into the environment, and the project will also make use of new and accessible techniques to sample waterborne DNA to detect and track species.
While many of the species discovered are likely to be on the smaller end of the scale, Virmani noted that the world’s longest sea creature was only discovered in 2020 off the coast of Western Australia — a 150-foot stringlike animal known as a siphonophore.
Ocean Census will also help to identify how marine ecosystems are responding to the climate crisis, and assess how marine life could adapt to a warmer climate.
The project is being led by Nekton, a UK-based marine science and conservation institute, and funded by The Nippon Foundation, a nonprofit foundation based in Japan.
Over the next decade, dozens of expeditions to the ocean’s biodiversity hotspots will search for new species involving divers, submarines and deep-sea robots. The project also hopes to involve private vessels and individuals. The data and information gathered will by openly accessible for scientists, policymakers and the public for noncommercial use.
3 tips can help you save if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, personal finance expert Suze Orman says
When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can be tough to find money to save.
That was the situation one audience member, Natalie, wrote in about ahead of CNBC’s Women & Wealth event on Tuesday. While grappling with high childcare and housing costs, Natalie is barely breaking even, she wrote, which makes finding money to set aside for big goals like retirement difficult.
A recent CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey, conducted in partnership with Momentive, shows that she is not alone. More than half, or 58%, of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, according to the March results.
If you find setting money aside difficult, it’s a sign that it’s time to change your lifestyle, personal finance expert Suze Orman said.
As part of its National Financial Literacy Month efforts, CNBC will be featuring stories throughout the month dedicated to helping people manage, grow and protect their money so they can truly live ambitiously.
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“You have to strike the word ‘can’t’ out of your vocabulary,” Orman said in response to the audience query.
Rather, people should draw up a financial to-do list right now that includes getting out of credit card debt, having an eight- to 12-month emergency fund and funding their retirement accounts, Orman said.
That’s as many experts, including Orman, say a recession could be coming.
But whether there is a recession or not, you need to be prepared that an unexpected event — like an illness, accident or layoff — could set you back, Orman said.
“The most important thing, really, for everybody to understand about their money … is that you have got to live a life below your means, but within your needs,” Orman said.
Several tips can help you get started.
1. Make yourself a ‘No. 1 priority’
Portrait of an elegant man in a suit preparing for an important day at work
Daniloandjus | E+ | Getty Images
People who think they are living paycheck to paycheck likely have something they are doing with money that they should not be doing, Orman said.
For example, if you go out to eat rather than eating in, that’s $10 you could be putting into a Roth individual retirement account — an account for post-tax contributions towards retirement.
“You have to make yourself a No. 1 priority,” Orman said.
That means you do what you have to do in order to meet your financial goals, she said, even if it means taking on more than one job or cutting back on discretionary expenses.
You should be always be funding your retirement accounts, Orman said.
2. Automate your savings
To get into the habit of setting money aside, it’s best to automate the process, Orman said.
So whether you choose to do $50 a month or $100 a month, by setting aside money before you see it in your paycheck, “you will find that you do not miss it,” Orman said.
Inside MT BARBER: The Rising Star in the Barber Shop Industry
Gustavo Olmedo Romero, a professional barber from Oaxaca, Mexico, is making waves in the world of barbering with his brand MT BARBER. Born on September 1, 1986, Gustavo migrated to the United States at the age of 15 in search of a better future. He settled in New Brunswick for two years before moving to Delaware, where he worked multiple jobs, including dishwasher, cook, and gardener.
This period of his life was crucial in shaping his work ethic, and Gustavo is now living his dream.
At the age of 24, Gustavo started learning the profession that had fascinated him since childhood. He taught himself through videos and practice sessions with his friends, and in 2010, he began working in a barber shop where he worked for seven years, honing his skills and becoming a high-level barber. In 2017, Gustavo opened his first barber shop called MT BARBER SHOP, where he employed 12 barbers. Two years later, he opened his second shop with the same name, adding 12 more barbers to his team and expanding his brand.
According to Gustavo, the world of barbering is an excellent profession to learn and grow in, but it requires a lot of discipline and constant learning because haircuts and styles are continually evolving. Gustavo has also worked with professional soccer players, including José Andrés Martínez and Gelmin Rivas. His vision is to expand his brand nationally and internationally, and he knows that it will take a lot of hard work and effort, but he is determined to achieve his goals.
MT BARBER’s Instagram handle is @mexican_talent, and you can book an appointment on their website mtbarbershop.booksy.com. Gustavo Olmedo Romero is changing the world of barbering with his brand, MT BARBER, and he is an inspiration to many aspiring barbers.
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