International Signings: Astros, Dodgers, Orioles

Here are today's international signings…

  • The Astros signed Dominican shortstop Wander Franco, Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports. According to Smith, the team began following the now 16-year-old Franco when he was just 13 (Twitter links). He'll receive $575,000, Ben Badler of Baseball America writes. In a short scouting report, Badler notes that the 6-foot, 180-pound Franco is a nephew of Angels shortstop Erick Aybar and former big leaguer Willy Aybar. Though not a toolsy player, the switch-hitting Franco impressed some teams with his performances against live pitching.
  • Badler also reports that the Dodgers signed Alberto Estrella out of the Dominican Republic for $600,000. A 16-year-old right-handed hitter with power potential, Estrella is notable for his size, as he stands at 6'4" and weighs 195 pounds. Though he's played some shortstop and might be able to handle third base, his build suggests that he could end up moving to a corner outfield position or first base.
  • The Orioles signed South Korean lefty Jung-hyun Yoon, Dan Kurtz of reported earlier this month (Twitter link). According to a report from Yonhap, Yoon was just a mid-round draft pick in the Korea Baseball Organization out of high school, but Orioles scout Choi Eun-chul says the team believes he's already good enough to pitch in A ball. However, the O's plan to start him in the Rookie League. Yoon, who has touched 92 mph with his fastball, says he hopes to emulate the success of the Dodgers' Hyun-jin Ryu. Yonhap's article didn't include a dollar figure for the signing.

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