Houston has signed two of the top arms from the Dominican Republic, 16-year-old righthander Michael Feliz and 17-year-old righthander Jose Montero, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Feliz's deal is worth $400K while Montero will reportedly earn $350K.
Feliz reached agreement with the A's on a deal worth $800K in the offseason, but Oakland voided the deal upon the pitcher testing positive for an anabolic steroid and receiving a 50-game suspension. Scouts who have kept tabs on the hurler this year say that he was regularly hitting 92-93 mph on the radar gun before the positive drug test but has been topping out at 91 mph in recent months.
Montero can pitch at 89-92 mph and has hit 93 mph on the radar gun for some scouts. Latin American sources have said that the Yankees and Padres were also interested in his services. While he throws a slider and an occasional changeup, his secondary stuff and overall feel for pitching isn't as advanced as Feliz's.
The Astros now appear poised to have three first-year fireballers on their Dominican Summer League staff, with lefty Edgar Ferreira also expected to be on board. Ferreira, 17, signed with Houston in December of last year.