The latest on the international market:
- Cuban free agents Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr. and Sandy Gaston held a showcase in Miami for all 30 teams on Friday. The Orioles, with the most international spending room available (~$6.7MM), are reportedly the favorites to sign Victor Victor Mesa, an outfielder who’s the No. 1-ranked int’l prospect available. It seems the team that gets him will also land his brother, a fellow outfielder, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes the two “are viewed within the industry as a package deal.” The O’s are indeed interested in the tandem, reports Kubatko, who adds that they also “really like” Gaston – a right-handed pitcher. Financially speaking, the Orioles hold a significant edge over every other team in the league when it comes to signing any of these players, but Kubatko notes that the Marlins’ proximity to Cuba could stand in Baltimore’s way. The Marlins, who have the second-most money to spend ($4.3MM), have made it known that they are trying to use location to their advantage. Further, in their push to sign the Mesas and Gaston, the Marlins set up personalized lockers with uniforms for the players, Kubatko relays. Team CEO and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter also happened to be on hand for their showcase.
- The Dodgers have signed Cuban righty Osvani Gutierrez to a $600K bonus, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The 17-year-old did not rank among the top international prospects available at any of BA, MLB.com or FanGraphs, but Badler writes that Gutierrez is “a solid strike-thrower for his age” who “shows feel for his secondary pitches” and can bring 93 mph heat. The Dodgers entered this year’s international signing period with the standard bonus pool of $4,983,500. As of mid-September, they were down to $2.78MM – still one of the highest sums left.