Here’s the latest on some international transactions news from around baseball…
- The Blue Jays signed Cuban right-hander Yosver Zulueta and Dutch right-handers Jiorgeny Casimiri and Sem Robberse in some late additions before the end of the 2018-19 international signing period, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes. Toronto acquired an extra $1.5MM of bonus pool funds in spring trades of Kendrys Morales to the A’s and Dwight Smith Jr. to the Orioles, which accounted for these three Jays signing (Zulueta received “the majority of their spending room,” as per Davidi).
- The Orioles signed Dominican center fielder Stiven Acevedo to a contract with a $275K bonus in April, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun writes. Acevedo’s birthday (August 2, 2002) made him a bit of an odd man out for the first batch of signings last July 2, as other teams committed most of their pools to players who were already 16 years old. This left him available for Baltimore, who felt like Acevedo would have received a bonus of $1MM+ had he waited for the next international signing period this coming July 2. Acevedo is already 6’4″ and 185 pounds despite his young age, “with feel for the barrel, not much swing-and-miss and the chance to grow into some power,” according to Meoli. The piece is well worth a read for a full overview of the Orioles’ 2018-19 international signing endeavors, as the team has finally started to focus on the int’l market under new GM Mike Elias (and in the final weeks of former front office boss Dan Duquette’s tenure) and the O’s now seem positioned to be major players in the 2019-20 signing period. In total, the O’s spent $2.167MM since last July 2, despite a signing pool that both rose and shrunk rapidly after multiple trades and pursuits of such high-profile prospects as the Mesa brothers.
- Austin Bibens-Dirkx is no longer a member of the Uni-President Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, the team announced (hat tip to Rob of CPBLStats.com) Bibens-Dirkx wished to return to the United States to be with his wife as the couple expects a baby within the coming days. Bibens-Dirkx posted a 5.27 ERA over 114 1/3 innings for the Rangers in 2017-18 before signing with the Uni-Lions in the offseason. His time in the CPBL carries its share of struggles, as Bibens-Dirkx posted a 5.28 ERA and 1.26 WHIP 46 innings.