The Nationals have finalized deals with a pair of Dominican prospects, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Outfielder Randy Novas and catcher Raudy Read will receive $150K and $130K, respectively.
Johnny DiPuglia, the Nats' head of international scouting, said that the 17-year-old Read will "easily be an everyday catcher." As for Novas, DiPuglia compared the 16-year-old's body to that of former big leaguer Devon White.
The club remains hesitant to hand out massive signing bonuses like the one they gave 16-year-old Esmailyn Gonzalez, who really turned out to be 20-year-old Carlos Alvarez, in 2006. Excluding the Yunesky Maya major league deal, the Nationals spent about $1MM on signing bonuses for prospects in Latin America last year, one of the smallest budgets in the majors. Now, DiPuglia tells Kilgore, the club is starting to spend more on international players.