JUNE 10: The deal has been cleared by the league and is now official, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.
JUNE 8: The Reds and Garcia have a deal, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman, who confirms it’s for $5MM (Twitter link).
JUNE 7: There’s no official deal in place just yet, tweets C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, but the Reds are close. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets that there’s an agreement in place, but nothing official yet due to the fact that Garcia still needs to pass a physical. Sanchez pegs the bonus at precisely $5MM and says it could become official on Thursday.
JUNE 6: The Reds have agreed to a contract with 19-year-old shortstop Jose Israel Garcia, reports Baseball America’s Ben Badler. The Cuban native, who is subject to international bonus pools due to both his age and lack of professional experience, will receive a bonus of roughly $5MM on his minor league deal, according to Badler. Because the Reds have already vastly exceeded their league-allotted international signing pool, they’ll pay a 100 percent luxury tax on the signing, meaning the addition of Garcia to their improving farm system will cost them somewhere in the vicinity of $10MM.
Badler provides a fairly lengthy scouting report on Garcia that Reds fans will want to check out. Listed at 6’3″ and 170 pounds, Garcia has room to add another 20 or so pounds to his frame and will moving from second base to shortstop in pro ball, per Badler’s piece, though there are questions about his ability to stick at the position. He has the arm for third base but perhaps not the power to profile at the position, as Badler notes that he’s more of a gap hitter whose power ceiling currently projects around 10 to 15 homers per year with plus speed on the bases. Garcia has also been tied to both Houston and San Diego since being declared a free agent.
The Reds have already inked right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez and shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez as their two largest international signings of the 2016-17 period, though like the Astros earlier today, they managed to pull off at least one more significant add before the closing of the current signing period on June 15. At that point, there’ll be a roughly two-week dead period where international prospects are ineligible to sign before the 2017-18 signing period kicks off on July 2. As part of their penalty for shattering their bonus pool, Cincinnati will be barred from signing any international free agent for greater than $300K in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 signing periods.