The 2019-20 July 2nd international signing period is officially underway, though it’s not exactly laden with suspense. Teams have long since lined up deals with newly eligible teenage players, so the news today largely represents confirmation of what was anticipated. Still, it’s a day of no small moment, particularly for the young men embarking upon professional careers.
Let’s round up some of the most notable signings of the day. Throughout, we’ll be citing to the reporting of Baseball America (signings tracker; scouting links) and MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (Twitter feed; rankings) along with analysis from Fangraphs. You can find each team’s total bonus pool and other information on the process right here. Check the above links for further information and other signings. Here are a few key deals:
- Jasson Dominguez, OF, Yankees: Everyone’s top target is reportedly holding strong on his commitment to go to the Bronx. The deal is said to be for $5.1MM, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com, with an announcement expected this evening. Dominguez is a switch-hitter who’s said to possess five-tool ability. The Fangraphs team is sufficiently impressed to run him all the way up to the #61 overall MLB prospect ranking right out of the gates (via Kiley McDaniel, on Twitter). The Yanks also have struck a $1.2MM deal with outfielder Jhon Diaz, Sanchez tweets. He was the 18th-rated player on the MLB.com board but ran all the way up to #7 at Fangraphs.
- Robert Puason, SS, Athletics: Another player who’ll command about $5MM, Puason is a toolsy shortstop with big upside. He was said to have a deal in place with the Braves before that team was slapped with international sanctions. It’s worth noting that the Atlanta organization wasn’t actually punished for agreeing to terms early (though that widespread practice is officially forbidden) but rather for structuring a group deal with Puason’s trainer, as Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper explains on Twitter.
- Luis Rodriguez, OF, Dodgers: The value on this one is unknown, but BA’s Ben Badler has photographic evidence of the signing (Twitter link). Rodriguez gets top-three billing from Fangraphs. The Los Angeles club is also in agreement with righty Kristian Cardozo, who’s also considered one of the thirty best players available.
- Bayron Lora, OF, Rangers: Baseball America has made this connection for some time; Sanchez tweets that it’s a $4.2MM deal for the slugging prospect. Shortstops Maximo Acosta and Zion Banister are also members of the Texas signing class. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter) has the former at $1.6MM and the latter at $835K. As he notes, the Texas organization will need to acquire some added pool capacity to make the math work.
- Erick Pena, OF, Royals: This is another signing called in advance by the BA crew. Sanchez has the bonus at $3.8MM (Twitter link). FG labels Pena “a well-rounded outfielder with considerable physical projection.”
- Ronnier Quintero, C, Cubs: Occupying the #6 spot on the boards of both Fangraphs and MLB.com, Quintero will follow Willson Contreras from Venezuela to the Chicago organization. The Cubbies also have a deal with fellow top-ten-ish prospect Kevin Made, a shortstop. Sanchez puts the Quintero deal at $3MM and Made’s mark at $1.7MM. Another Venezuelan backstop, Brayan Altuve, will cost the Cubs another million bucks, seemingly setting up the organization for a search for some added pool money.
- Roberto Campos, OF, Tigers: The Detroit organization popped for a hefty $3MM to secure the services of the Cuban outfielder, per Badler (via Twitter). Campos defected in somewhat dramatic fashion several years ago at just 13 years of age. He wasn’t listed among the best prospects, but Chris McCosky of the Detroit News indicates on Twitter that the Tigers like his bat quite a bit.
Several other well-regarded prospects also secured bonuses of $2MM or more, per Sanchez and/or Badler:
- Twins, $2.7MM, outfielder Enmanuel Rodriguez
- Angels, $2.2MM, shortstop Arol Vera
- Marlins, $2.8MM, shortstop Jose Salas
- Mets, $2.05MM, outfielder Alexander Ramirez
- Padres, $2MM, outfielder Ismael Mena
- Astros, $2MM, shortstop Dauris Lorenzo