The Indians signed more than 30 prospects during last year's international signing period and the club is off to another good start this year.
:: 2018 International Signing Period ::
The Tribe signed seven international amateur free agents on the first day of the signing period, the team announced on Monday.
"We're thrilled to add these seven players to our organization," said Paul Gillispie, Cleveland's senior director of international scouting. "Our scouts spent the last several years working to build history on the best young players across the globe and develop relationships with them and their families. We're grateful for their hard work, dedication and commitment, which put us in a position to be able to sign these seven players."
Three talented infield prospects headline the bunch: Gabriel Rodriguez -- whom MLB Pipeline ranked as the No. 6 international prospect -- Junior Sanquintin (No. 12) and Angel Martinez. According to industry sources, Rodriguez signed for $2,100,000, Sanquintin for $1,250,000 and Martinez for $500,000.
The best infield prospect out of Venezuela this year, Rodriguez is also one of the best hitters in the class. Known for his projectable body and good control on both sides of the ball, the 16-year-old reminds some scouts of Wilmer Flores at the same age. Overall, he has easy actions on defense and a smooth swing at the plate with developing power.
Sanquintin, a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic, favors comparably with Rodriguez, and there's a chance he has more upside on offense and defense. He just lacks Rodriguez's consistency. He's known for his emerging raw power, bat speed and overall skill set across the board.
Martinez is the son of Sandy Martinez, the Nationals' Dominican Summer League manager and Dominican field coordinator, and his brother -- Sandy Jr. -- is currently a catching prospect in the D-backs' system. Angel Martinez is a steady producer at the plate, a switch-hitter whose efficient swing earns him a lot of line drives all across the field. He'll likely develop into either a shortstop or second baseman.
The other players the Indians signed include infielders Dayan Frias and Jesus Lara, and outfielders Sterling Romero and Luis Ostos. Three players were signed from both Venezuela (Rodriguez, Lara, Ostos) and the Dominican Republic (Sanquintin, Martinez, Romero), with one (Frias) from Colombia.
According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs like the Indians that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs received $4,983,500.
Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, 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 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.