On the first day of International Free Agency, the San Diego Padres have agreed to terms with at least six top international prospects, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports.
The new Padres include Dominican shortstop Luis Almanzar ($4M), Venezuelan shortstop Gabriel Arias ($1.9M), Dominican outfielder Jeisson Rosario ($1.85M), Mexican outfielder Tirso Ornelas ($1.5M), Venezuelan shortstop Justin Lopez ($1.2M) and Dominican shortstop Jordy Barley ($1M).
All six players were ranked in MLB.com’s list of the top 30 international amateurs available.
Almanzar alone puts the team over their international bonus pool of $3,347,600. This means that the team will have to pay a 100% tax on every dollar that they go over that number this year, and will not be able to sign any player for more than $300K in either of the next two signing seasons.
When the Padres hired A.J. Preller from the Texas Rangers to take over as the team’s GM, it was mostly due to his skills at identifying and signing international free agents. With how aggressive Preller is being this offseason, it is obvious that both he and the team have targeted this group of players as the ones that will eventually make waves at the major-league level.