Int’l Signings: Barrera, Cruz, Esteves, Gomez, Dodgers

The 2012 international free agent signing period opened today and plenty of signings will be coming in as teams look to spend within their $2.9MM allotment.  We'll be keeping track of all of the day's major agreements under $1MM right here..

  • The Athletics are finalizing an agreement with Luis Barrera that would pay the Dominican outfielder $450K, tweets's Jesse Sanchez. Sanchez's colleague Jonathan Mayo ranked Barrera as the No. 13 prospect in this year's class.
  • Badler also adds that the Indians have signed Dominican shortstop Grofy Cruz for a bonus of $400K. Cruz is expected to shift to third base soon, and is praised by Badler for his strong arm and raw power.
  • Dominican third baseman Kelvin Esteves signed with the Braves for a $300K bonus, Badler writes. Badler praises Esteves' bat speed and raw power from the right side.
  • The Dodgers also signed Dominican shortstop Cristian Gomez to an undisclosed bonus, writes Badler. Gomez was widely expected to receive a low six-figure bonus.
  • The Dodgers issued a press release to announce four international signings: right-handers Lenix Osuna and William Soto, left-hander Victor Gonzalez, as well as catcher Julian Leon. Osuna is the son of former Dodgers righty Antonio Osuna. Soto hails from Venezuela while the other three were all signed out of Mexico. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweets that the club spent about $1MM total on the four players.
  • The Mets, who earlier today signed shortstop Amed Rosario to a $1.75MM bonus, also signed Venezuelan shortstop Miguel Patino and Dominican second baseman Franklin Correatweets ESPN's Adam Rubin. Rubin also notes that Rosario's bonus is the highest the Mets have ever given to an international free agent. That honor had previously gone to Fernando Martinez ($1.3MM).

  • The Tigers signed Dominican shortstops Domingo Leyba and Willy Adames, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
  • The Indians have signed Dominican catcher Francisco Mejia for $350K, according to Badler.  Mejia is the second catcher Cleveland signed today after inking Yoiber Marquina out of Venezuela.
  • Venezuelan catcher David Rodriguez has agreed to sign with the Rays, writes Badler.
  • Dominican third baseman Caros Belen has signed with the Padres, according to Badler.  The 16-year-old, ranked No. 8 by Baseball America, is said to have outstanding offensive potential.
  • The Indians have ventured outside of Latin America today, signing Naoki Hashimoto for a $250K bonus, according to Nikkan Sports (Japanese link, passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker on Twitter).  Hashimoto will travel to the U.S. in a few weeks and start in Single-A.
  • The Cardinals announced the signing of three international players: outfielder Luis Bandes, catcher Joshua Lopez, and shortstop Edmundo Sosa.  Sosa's deal is worth $425K, writes Badler.
  • The Cubs signed Dominican shortstop Frandy de la Rosa for $700K, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports.
  • The Phillies inked Dominican catcher Deivi Grullon, the No. 15 ranked international prospect, for $575K, Badler writes.  The 16-year-old is a strong defensive catcher with at least a plus arm, according to Badler.
  • The Indians signed Venezuelan catcher Yoiber Marquina, according to Ben Badler.  The 16-year-old's deal is worth $475K, according to Rafael Vásquez Martínez of Líder en Deportes (Spanish link, passed along by MLBTR's Nick Collias).
  • The Yankees have signed Venezuelan right fielder Alexander Palma for $800K, writes Badler.  Palma was the fourth-ranked international prospect by BA and has a physical frame that projects for power. 
  • The Dominican Prospect League announced that the Yankees have signed Dominican shortstop Yancarlos Baez for $650K, writes Badler.  The 16-year-old is an athletic switch-hitter with good bat speed but was not ranked in BA's top 20.
  • The Giants have agreed to sign 16-year-old third baseman Natanael Javier for $475K, Badler writes.  The Dominican prospect was named the MVP of the Dominican Prospect League's PG International Series all-tournament game last month.
  • The Pirates‬ will sign Dominican third baseman Julio De La Cruz today and have four more signings lined up, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter).  The 16-year-old has mostly been connected to Pittsburgh, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America (subscription req'd) but the White Sox also seemed interested.
  • The Blue Jays signed Venezuelan shortstop Luis Castro, according to Ben Badler.  The 16-year-old right-handed hitter, ranked No. 9 by Baseball America, marks the second major signing by the Blue Jays this morning, who also inked Venezuelan prospect Franklin Barreto.  Terms of the Castro deal are not yet known but it could not be for more than ~$900K if Barreto's is worth roughly $2MM, as reported.
  • The Red Sox signed Dominican right-hander Jose Almonte for $610K, according to Badler.  Almonte was BA's No. 17 international prospect for July 2 and is said to have a loose delivery and good projection.
  • The Phillies signed Dominican corner outfielder Jose Pujols for $540K, Badler writes.  The 16-year-old is lanky at 6'4", 175 pounds but already has plenty of power and obviously has time to fill out.  The Phillies were believed to have the most interest in Pujols heading into today.
  • Steve Adams contributed to this post.

      The Phillies have signed Dominican catcher Deivi Grullon, the No. 15 international prospect for July 2, for $575,000.

      Grullon, 16, is a defensive-oriented catcher with at least a plus arm.

    28 Responses to Int’l Signings: Barrera, Cruz, Esteves, Gomez, Dodgers Leave a Reply

    1. MB923 3 years ago

      The first names that came to my mind were Starlin, Danny and Albert

      • jayrig5 3 years ago

        I know, I thought it was going to be some sort of retrospective.

      • $17867741 3 years ago

        You know Albert Pujols’ full name is José Alberto Pujols Alcántara. Coincidence huh?

        • MB923 3 years ago

          Ahh, good point. Nontheless nobody calls him José. It’s like saying Manuel instead of Manny, Larry instead of Chipper, George instead of Babe, etc.

          • Gary Martinez 3 years ago

            And it’s also common in Latin American countries to not call a person by their first name, but rather their middle name.

          • ilikeike29 3 years ago

            I call him Larry Jones.

            • MB923 3 years ago

              I suppose because Met fans are sick of the name Chipper?

            • East Coast Bias 3 years ago


    2. Dylan 3 years ago

      Supposively Pujols was compared to Stanton type power when he was 16. I think that is neat.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         If Stanton played for a big market team? He would be talked about as the next huge big time player and perennial all star.

        There are very few people in the game with his power and ability to get on base and that i s also with the lineup the Fish have struggling so badly this year. His power is massive to all fields and he is pretty selective at the plate. He can crush inside, outside.. It just doesn’t matter. The marlins dearly need Morrison to stay hot, or for Ramirez to get his head screwed on straight and start hitting like he did 2 seasons ago.

    3. deadwriter 3 years ago

      can someone post a link to a clear explanation of how the international free agent signing period works?

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        Basically, if you turned 17 before today, you were elligible for last year’s july 2nd signing period, if you turn 17 AFTER today, you’re elligible for this year’s signing period, that’s the simple version of it.

    4. East Coast Bias 3 years ago

      From BA’s top 20 list, 8 of them are SS. 3 are catchers. Just found that interesting. 

    5. Can anyone tell me about the Cardinal’s signings? 

    6. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      Saw that Grullon has been drawing comparisons to Carlos Ruiz and Wilkin Rosario, I’ll take those kinds of comps.

    7. HalfSt 3 years ago

      Yet again the Nationals are useless on the international market. I don’t want to hear anything about this being the Expos franchise in a new location. The Expos were actually players in the Caribbean.


    8. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

      Carlos Belen what do you think of the outfield walls depth at Petco? “No bueno” – Carlos Belen 

    9. Odawg8 3 years ago

      Just out of curiosity, how will this affect the posting system out if Japan? Also, will it affect players, like Wei-Yin Chen, who were technically qualified as international free agents?

      • Trout Almonte 3 years ago

        There’s something about like certain age like under 20 or 25 or something so established NPB players aren’t affected.  There could be something saying Latin America too but I’m not sure.

    10. diehardmets 3 years ago

      Nice to see the Mets being active to help continue the farm building effort. 

    11. MaineSox 3 years ago

      They’ve only been able to sign them for ~12 hours and only 6 have signed so far; there are dozens of kids who are going to be signed over the next few days/weeks, I’m sure the Cubs will sign a few of them.

    12. sourbob 3 years ago

      I was wondering the same thing, but a recent update to this article says they signed Frandy De La Rosa, who says has soft hands and a good feel for switch-hitting, along with top shelf makeup and work ethic. His arm is suspect and he needs to fill out and refine his hitting.

      It’s interesting how the Cubs’ last few major signings–Almora, Soler, De La Rosa–are all said to have outstanding makeup.

    13. MB923 3 years ago

       They keep editing the players in the title. When I first posted it was only those 3 players listed.

    14. johnsilver 3 years ago

       For sure. It is Christmas morning and only the 1st few packages have been opened so to speak.

    15. Whole_New_World 3 years ago

       “IN the US at least we’re legit”

      Now that’s funny.

    16. East Coast Bias 3 years ago

      18 of the top 20. 

      Brazilian lefthander Luiz Gohara can sign when he turns 16 on July 31, and Dominican shortstop Sergio Alcantara can sign when he turns 16 on July 10. 

      – BA

    17. NYPOTENCE 3 years ago

      Dude, there is no need for that.

    18. Gary Martinez 3 years ago

      Pretty sure that’s common all over the world

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