The D-backs made a minor international move today, as MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports, signing 18-year-old Mexican right-hander Edgar Martinez for an undisclosed bonus. While the exact amount given to Martinez isn’t known, the signing bonus is required to come in at $300K or less, as the D-backs are barred from signing international amateurs for more than that figure during this signing period and the 2016-17 international signing period as a result of their spending in the 2014-15 signing period. The addition of Martinez could be a sign of things to come, Sanchez writes, as Arizona is making an effort to increase its presence in Mexico. The D-backs introduced three new employees at a press conference in Mexico last month with an eye toward acquiring more Mexican talent in the future. “We naturally want to have a presence down there, not only from a marketing standpoint, but from a scouting perspective,” CEO Derrick Hall explained to Sanchez. “For me, the priority is to find and develop a top talent from Mexico.”
A couple of more notes on some more prominent international free agents…
- Free agent third baseman Luis Yander La O has signed with the Legacy Agency, tweets Sanchez. The 24-year-old, who is exempt from international bonus pools, is exploring the market and preparing for a possible showcase, Sanchez notes. MLB declared La O a free agent a month ago, and Baseball America’s Ben Badler has previously written that La O is nearly MLB-ready. La O doesn’t possess much power but had an extraordinarily low strikeout rate in Cuba (five percent) and is said to be an above-average defender at third base that can handle second base as well.
- Sanchez also reported yesterday that right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez is also being repped by Legacy after signing on with the agency recently (Twitter link). Gutierrez is “on track” to host a showcase sometime next month, Sanchez adds. Gutierrez has been a free agent since last July, but there’s been very little talk about the talented right-hander since that time. When he was declared a free agent, Badler noted that some scouts preferred Gutierrez’s overall package to that of $16MM Dodgers right-hander Yadier Alvarez. The 20-year-old Gutierrez is subject to bonus pools and is currently the top-ranked unsigned amateur on Sanchez’s rankings at MLB.com (No. 2 overall). Sanchez notes that Gutierrez has a low-90s fastball and plus curveball in his scouting report.