The Blue Jays are adding one of the most advanced hitters in the 2020-21 international class to the mix.
According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a multimillion dollar deal with shortstop Manuel Beltre of the Dominican Republic, No. 24 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects List, for $2.35 million.
The Blue Jays have not confirmed the deal.
Beltre might be the most experienced teenager in the class. He began playing internationally with teams from the Dominican Republic in 2014 and moved on to travel ball teams in Florida. He’s played in the Cal Ripken World Series and has been a mainstay in showcases and on the Perfect Game circuit.
Where Beltre ultimately ends up playing as he makes his way through the Minor Leagues is to be determined, but here’s what we know: He has sure hands with good range and a quick transfer. He has plus-arm potential that suits him well at both shortstop and second base, where he has a chance to be an above-average defender. He has been praised for his makeup and baseball IQ.
According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Draft have the most money to spend on international prospects, with a pool of $6,431,000. Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft receive the second most at $5,889,600.
The Blue Jays have a bonus pool of $5,348,100.
Unlike in previous years, teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.