SEATTLE -- The international market has been a big talent source for the Mariners over the years and the club dipped into that area again on Monday, announcing agreements with nine players on the first day of the new international signing period.
Heading the group is Noelvi Marte, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, who is ranked No. 7 on MLB Pipeline'sTop 30 International Prospects list. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports the deal is worth $1,550,000, according to sources.
"Our scouts identified Noelvi Marte as a player with impact speed and power," said Tim Kissner, the Mariners' director of international scouting. "Those skills, combined with his ability to hit, pushed him to the top of this international signing class. His makeup and instincts for the game are well above average, and we believe he will excel once he begins working with our player development group."
According to Sanchez, the 6-foot-1, 181-pounder is known for his power bat but he also has shown good mechanics at the plate, where he creates a lot of backspin and loft at contact. There's a belief he could hit .270 with 25-30 home runs in the big leagues one day. He is currently a shortstop and has a good feel for the position, but could shift to third base as he grows. Scouts like his hands and athleticism.
Marte is one of four infielders in the group, along with Asdrubal Bueno from Venezuela, Luis Chevalier from the Dominican Republic and Carlos Fernandez from Panama. Seattle also signed outfielder Jonathan Clase from the DR and first baseman/outfielder Gabe Moncada from Venezuela.
The Mariners also announced the signing of three pitchers -- left-hander Jose Aquino from the Dominican Republic, right-handers Adbiel Medina from Panama and Wilton Perez from the DR.
"We're very excited about the versatility of this group," Kissner said. "It's a well-balanced class of pitchers and position players who all possess the athleticism and the character to progress through our Minor League system. Each of the nine players we signed today has the skills and the makeup to make an impact in our organization over the next several years."
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 teams that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs, including the Mariners, 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 club's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a team'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.