THURSDAY: San Diego has announced the deal.
MONDAY: The Padres are in agreement on a deal with Cuban left-hander Osvaldo Hernandez, reports Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (via Twitter). The 18-year-old southpaw, who was declared a free agent last month, will receive a $2.5MM signing bonus. Because the Padres have shattered their league-issues international spending allotment already, Hernandez will come with a 100 percent luxury tax, meaning he’ll effectively cost the Friars a total of $5MM.
Hernandez hasn’t been included on lists of top international prospects from Baseball America, Fangraphs, MLB.com, etc., making information on him somewhat scarce. BA’s Ben Badler wrote up a couple of paragraphs of scouting info on Hernandez following today’s deal, writing that Hernandez has an 89-94 mph fastball to go along with a tight-spinning curve that could eventually be a plus offering and a slider that could eventually be above-average as well. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported when Hernandez was declared a free agent that in addition to the Padres, the Reds, Astros, Mets, Braves, Rangers and Red Sox had varying levels of interest in the young southpaw.
The Padres have been baseball’s most active team on the international front during the current signing period, and Monday’s agreement serves as a reminder that the team could continue to add further international talent in the three months between now and the current signing period’s June 15 closing date. Among the Padres’ top international commitments this winter have been Cuban left-hander Adrian Morejon ($11MM), Cuban outfielder Jorge Ona ($7MM), Dominican shortstop Luis Almanzar ($4MM) and Cuban right-hander Michel Baez ($3MM). San Diego opened the international signing period on July 2 with fireworks, agreeing to terms with 10 highly touted prospects that day alone (headlined by Almanzar). Since that time general manager A.J. Preller and his staff have continued to aggressively supplement the team’s minor league system on the international market.
The Padres entered the current signing period with a bonus pool of $3.347MM, but they’ve exceeded that mark by well north of $30MM at this point and, subsequently, been taxed at a 100 percent rate for every dollar over that allotment. By my count, from the bonuses we’ve tracked at MLBTR, the Padres have exceeded their pool by at least $34.833MM, though the size some of their smaller-scale signings (which could be worth a few hundred thousand dollars) went unreported. Those numbers, though incomplete, put the Friars at just over $73MM worth of total expenditures on the international front, though the true number could very well exceed $75MM and approach $80MM in total.