The Cardinals have signed international amateur free agent Edwin Nunez for $525K, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. This deal comes as part of the extended 2019-20 international signing period, which will run until October 15 and was re-opened again on Friday when the transactions freeze was lifted.
Like all other business in baseball, the international market was halted by the league’s COVID-19 shutdown, meaning Nunez had to wait a little longer to sign with his first big league organization. Nunez’s entry into the pros had already been delayed a year, as the league declared him ineligible to sign during the 2018-19 international prospect period due to a discrepancy with his given age. Nunez became eligible in April, and is now listed as 18 years old.
Despite his late entry into the signing period, Badler writes that Nunez “had emerged as one of the top pitching prospects in the 2019-20 class.” A hard-throwing righty from the Dominican Republic, Nunez already has a high-90s fastball that has hit the 100mph threshold on occasion. It isn’t out of the question that even more velocity could be unlocked, given Nunez’s young age and the potential for more bulk added to his 6’3″, 185-pound frame. Beyond that big fastball, Nunez also has a largely untested changeup and a somewhat “inconsistent” curveball.