Blue Jays land elite international catcher

January 17th, 2022

The Blue Jays are adding one of the top catchers on the international market to their system.

The club on Monday officially signed catcher Luis Meza, who ranks No. 33 on’s Top 50 International Prospects list, to a $2.05 million deal.

Toronto’s signing pool of $4,644,000 dropped by $500,000 after the club inked free agent George Springer, who rejected the Astros’ qualifying offer last offseason.

Meza shows lots of potential, especially on defense, with emerging catch-and-throw skills along with signs of above-average receiving and blocking abilities. He’s a gamer and his high baseball IQ allows him to make an impact on both sides of the ball.

At the plate, he has shown an ability to barrel up balls and use the entire field in showcases and games. Physically, he has a broad frame and there is still room to grow and develop strength. Meza trains with Kander De Pablos and Reynaldo Gonzalez at the KPL Academy in Venezuela.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association finalized a deal in March 2020 that addressed the international signing period during the pandemic. The 2022 international signing period runs through Dec. 15, the second year in a row the period -- which previously began July 2 -- started in January.

The current rules also state that 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 old and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Here are the prospects inked by the Blue Jays during the international signing period:

Luis Meza, C, Venezuela -- $2,050,000
Railin Tejada, OF, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
Jean Joseph, CF, Dominican Republic -- $450,000
Raudy Gomez, RHS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
Faruk De La Cruz, C, Dominican Republic -- $250,000
Kendry Chirinos, IF, Venezuela -- $240,000
Jose Fernandez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $75,000
Rodolfo Toledano, RHS, Mexico -- $65,000
Albert Millan, C, Venezuela -- $50,000
Ali Lucena, OF, Venezuela -- $50,000
Roque Salinas, OF, Mexico -- $40,000
Omar Romero, SS, Venezuela -- $20,000
Carlos Meza, RHS, Colombia -- $10,000
Ivan Gonzalez, RHS, Venezuela -- $10,000
Luis Torres, LHS, Venezuela -- $10,000
Carlos Vasquez, C, Venezuela -- $10,000
Jorge Guerra, RHS, Panama -- $10,000
Fernando Perez, RHS, Nicaragua -- $10,000
Omar Munoz, RHS, Mexico -- $10,000
Jonathan Bautista, OF, Dominican Republic -- $10,000
Eminen Flores, RHS, Dominican Republic -- $10,000
Aneudi Escanio, SS, Dominican Republic -- $10,000