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The White Sox put their money where their mouth wasn’t.White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had been mum during the weeks leading up to Saturday, when the team officially announced it had signed 19-year-old Cuban prospect Luis Robert, who comes with a hefty...

Cuban prospect Luis Robert signs with White Sox, receives $26 million bonus

The White Sox put their money where their mouth wasn’t.White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had been mum during the weeks leading up to Saturday, when the team officially announced it had signed 19-year-old Cuban prospect Luis Robert, who comes with a hefty...

Cuban prospect Luis Robert signs with White Sox, receives $26 million bonus

The White Sox put their money where their mouth wasn’t.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had been mum during the weeks leading up to Saturday, when the team officially announced it had signed 19-year-old Cuban prospect Luis Robert, who comes with a hefty price tag reported to be around  $50 million – which includes a $26 million signing bonus to Robert and the rest to Major League Baseball for overage taxes.

The latest piece  of the team’s rebuilding plan was in the building Saturday morning at Guaranteed Rate Field. His quick tour of the clubhouse included a stop at Jose Abreu’s locker. Despite the dollars, the timing of the deal makes a lot of sense to the Sox and general manager Rick Hahn, who hadn’t mentioned Robert’s name publically until this weekend.

“We are excited to add Luis – another young, extremely talented and impactful prospect – to the White  Sox organization,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “Luis has the potential to be a dynamic, five-tool player at the major-league level and we look forward to watching him develop in our system over the coming seasons.

The White Sox introduce Cuban prospect Luis Robert on May 27, 2017. 

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the 2017-18 signing period, which begins July 2, most teams will have a bonus pool of $4.75 million to spend on international free agents who are under 25 and have played in a professional league fewer than six seasons.

Robert is expected to be the seventh player in the Sox’s system to be ranked among the top 100 by MLB.com, including second baseman Yoan Moncada, who is ranked No. 1 overall, and pitcher Michael Kopech among others.

The White Sox acquired the first six prospects in December after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox and Adam Eaton to the Nationals.

Robert is 6-foot-3 and projects to be a center fielder. He played for Cuba’s Serie Nacional Ciego de Avila team from 2013-16. He batted .401 with 12 home runs, 40 RBIs and a 1.213 OPS in 53 games for the team last year.

Eighteen Cuban-born players have appeared in the majors with the White Sox, including first baseman Abreu, who said earlier this week he hadn’t met Robert but was impressed by what he’d seen on video.

Robert reportedly also was courted heavily by the Cardinals before choosing the White Sox.

He most likely will begin his career with the Sox in low or high Class A.

pskrbina@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribSkrbina

White Sox GM Rick Hahn talks about pursuing prospect Luis Robert. (Paul Skrbina/Chicago Tribune)

White Sox GM Rick Hahn talks about pursuing prospect Luis Robert. (Paul Skrbina/Chicago Tribune)

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