Toronto agrees to terms with trio of international prospects

January 15th, 2024

The Blue Jays are making a strong statement in the international market once again.

According to industry sources, Toronto agreed to terms with catcher Franklin Rojas, shortstop Angel Guzman and outfielder Andres Arias as the 2024 signing period opened on Monday. The club has not yet confirmed the agreements.

The Blue Jays forfeited $500,000 from their pool for signing Chris Bassitt, who rejected a qualifying offer from the Mets, leaving Toronto with a pool of $5.152 million.

Venezuela has been a powerhouse for catchers in recent years and that trend could continue with the athletic Rojas, who is ranked by as the No. 27 international prospect in this year’s class. Quick and agile, he moves extremely well and projects to be an average runner.

Behind the dish, he shows signs of being a solid defender with advanced game-calling ability, blocking and footwork. His transfer and pop times wow scouts and continue to improve.

As a hitter, Rojas utilizes an aggressive swing and looks to do damage at the plate. He consistently makes hard contact, shows plus power potential and good bat speed. He was a team captain for Venezuela in international competition.

Guzman (No. 32) has flashed potential on both sides of the ball. He has gotten significantly stronger, and his power to the gaps has improved along the way. As Guzman matures and his body fills out, scouts believe he could become a sneaky source of power for a lineup. His hit tool and overall offensive package make him a candidate to contribute at the top of the order.

Defensively, the athletic Guzman is a natural shortstop. He has soft hands, good body control and moves fluidly in the field. He has enough arm strength to remain at the position as he makes his way through the Minor Leagues. Guzman has drawn comparisons to the D-backs’ Geraldo Perdomo.

Arias, ranked No. 34, is one of the biggest -- and most developed -- prospects on the market and he has a chance to make a huge impact with the Blue Jays.

The strong and physically imposing teen shows big power potential with a large filled-out frame. At the plate, he uses a compact and down-plane stroke to make hard contact to all fields. He might be limited to a corner outfield position in the future because of his size and strength, but Arias has the type of offensive potential to profile and thrive there.

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before Sept. 1 the following year.

That means players born between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, will be eligible to sign in the current signing period. Players must be registered with Major League Baseball in advance to be eligible to sign.