Teams were able to submit contracts for this year's class of July 2nd international prospects starting at 8am central time today. You can find rankings here from Baseball America and MLB.com, and information on each team's international bonus pool at BA. This is the first year in which teams have different bonus pools, and as explained by BA's Ben Badler, teams can trade for up to 50% of their pools (with plenty of stipulations). The latest deals:
- Badler reports that the Astros have signed Dominican shortstop Joan Mauricio for $600K. The infielder didn't make the Top 30 from BA or MLB.com, but Badler lauds his defensive actions and hands.
- The Cardinals have signed Venezuelan outfielder Carlos Talavera (No. 28 on BA's list), Badler reports. The Cardinals have announced that signing as well as three others, and Kiley McDaniel has the bonus amounts: Dominican shortstop Hector Linares received $400K, Dominican right-hander Sandy Alcantara received $125K and Nicaraguan lefty Kerrion Bennett got $30K (Twitter links).
- The Yankees have signed Dominican shortstop Yonauris Rodriguez for $575K, according to Sanchez (on Twitter). BA noted that he's one of the best defensive shortstop prospects in Latin America.
- The Tigers signed Venezuelan catcher Elys Escobar for $350K, reports Badler. They also signed shortstop Hector Martinez for $400K, tweets Sanchez. MLB.com's Jason Beck adds that the team has also reached agreements with Venezuelan outfielder Hector Hernandez and Venezuelan shortstop Anthony Pereira (Twitter link).
- The Brewers signed Dominican outfielder Nicolas Pierre for $800K, tweets Soldevila. Badler ranked him 20th, noting the Brewers connection, while MLB.com had him 28th. The Brewers also signed shortstop Franly Mallen, Badler reports. He later tweeted that MLB.com's No. 22 prospect received the same $800K bonus as Pierre.
- The Athletics signed Dominican shortstop Carlos Hiciano for $750K, reports Badler. The speedy infielder was 17th on BA's rankings and 26th at MLB.com.
- The Indians signed Dominican outfielder Junior Soto for $600K, reports Badler. He's known for his right-handed raw power. Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets that the team also signed shortstop Willy Castro for $850K
- The Padres signed shortstop Ruddy Giron for $600K, tweets Soldevila. Baseball America called Giron a "high-energy player with good athleticism and above-average speed."
- The Diamondbacks signed Dominican outfielder Francis Martinez for $350K and Dominican third baseman Josue Herrera for $150K, reports Badler. They're nearing a deal with switch-hitting Venezuelan catcher Jose Herrera worth an estimated $1MM, tweets MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. MLB.com ranks Herrera seventh; BA has him tenth.
- The Cubs signed Dominican righty Jefferson Mejia for $850K, according to Badler. Badler notes that the 18-year-old Mejia can begin playing immediately, as his contract is for the 2013 season unlike most July 2 signings. Mejia previously had an issue with his paperwork and had been declared ineligible to sign until April. At $4,557,200, the Cubs have the second-largest bonus pool and figure to be active.
- The Mets signed Venezuelan catcher Ali Sanchez for $690K, reports Badler. BA ranked him 25th, calling him an "intelligent, high-energy player" and noting the many Venzuelan catchers in the big leagues. The Mets also signed Venezuelan righty Luis Silva for $275K, according to Badler. They signed Dominican shortstop Yeffry de Aza for $475K, he adds. The Mets have a pool of $2,664,600 this year.
- Colombian righty Erick Julio agreed to sign with the Rockies, tweets MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Julio, the best prospect out of Colombia this year, was ranked 14th by MLB.com and 13th by Baseball America's Ben Badler. The Rockies are also expected to sign Venezuelan shortstop Carlos Herrera for close to $1MM, tweets Sanchez. He was ranked 11th by BA and 15th by MLB.com. The Rockies have the third-largest international bonus pool this year, at $4,213,800 according to BA.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.