Top Cuban outfield prospect Eddy Julio Martinez remains unsigned a week after the beginning of the July 2 international signing period, but the Dodgers and Giants still lead the race to sign him, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez writes. Both teams have workouts scheduled for Martinez in the coming week.
The Cubs, White Sox, Rangers and Astros also have shown significant interest. Sanchez points out, though, that the Dodgers, Giants and maybe the Cubs have the edge, because Martinez’s bonus, likely to be eight figures, will incur maximum penalties for the team that signs him, including the inability to sign any player for more than $300K in either of the next two international signing periods. The Dodgers and Giants are already on pace to incur those penalties — the Dodgers’ expensive current class includes $16MM signee Yadier Alvarez, while the Giants’ includes $6MM signee Lucius Fox. The Cubs appear likely to incur maximum penalties as well. The White Sox, Rangers and Astros have not incurred such penalties, so they appear to have at least some incentive not to sign Martinez.
MLB.com ranks Martinez the No. 1 prospect available this signing period, comparing the 20-year-old to Andruw Jones and praising his power, baserunning and defense. Baseball America’s Ben Badler (subscription only) is less bullish, suggesting Martinez’s power leads more to doubles than home runs and noting that not all scouts believe he’ll stick as a starter in center field.