Nationals sign three top int’l prospects, Juan Soto's brother

January 15th, 2023

International prospects like Juan Soto are rare, but that doesn't mean teams, including the Nationals, will stop looking for the next superstar on the international market.

According to industry sources, Washington has agreed to a $500,000 deal with shortstop Manuel Cabrera, the No. 39 prospect on the top 50 international list, a $1.2 million deal with outfielder Andy Acevedo, who is ranked No. 45, and a $1.2 million agreement with shortstop Edwin Solano, the No. 46 prospect.

The Nationals, who have a base signing pool of $5,284,000, announced those deals as part of their 14 international free-agent signings on Sunday. Among them was outfielder Elian Soto, the younger brother of Juan Soto.

Cabrera features the defensive abilities, including a strong arm, to play any position in the infield. He also has enough potential at the plate to keep him in the lineup.

The athletic teen already shows good bat speed and strength at the plate, and he’s expected to improve in both of those areas as his body matures. Cabrera is trained by Cristian “Niche” Batista, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

Acevedo’s smooth left-handed swing is a sight to behold. His ability to use that swing to hit to all fields is what made him an attractive international prospect.

Acevedo has the ability to manipulate the barrel, and his overall approach at the plate is advanced for a player his age. Moreover, he has a feel for the strike zone and shows patience. His power is emerging and could increase as his body matures. Acevedo is trained by Raul “Banana” Valera, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

As for Solano, he is a physically gifted athlete with a solid set of tools and noteworthy bat speed.

It’s this balanced set of skills and upside for the future that combined to make him an appealing prospect. His plus raw power potential might be his most notable tool, but the others are not far behind.

On defense, he has smooth actions at shortstop and shows a solid arm. He’s also a good runner with good instincts on the bases. He has a high baseball IQ and his passion for the game shows when he steps on the field.

Solano is trained by Javier Rodríguez, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

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 -- in practical terms, that means players born between Sept. 1, 2005, and Aug. 31, 2006, will be eligible to sign in the upcoming signing period. Players have to be registered with Major League Baseball in advance in order to be eligible to sign.

Teams are allowed to trade international bonus pool money starting Jan. 15.