The Phillies might have discovered the next great Dominican shortstop.
According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a $3 million deal with shortstop Jesus Caba, the No. 13-ranked prospect on the Top 50 international list, who has drawn comparisons to Francisco Lindor.
The Phillies, who have a base signing pool of $4,644,000, have not confirmed the agreement. The deal is pending a physical. The club forfeited $500,000 from their pools for signing Nick Castellanos, who rejected Cincinnati’s qualifying offer as a free agent last offseason.
Caba has a chance to be an above-average player defensively because of his instincts and strong arm at shortstop. The 17-year-old makes all of the routine plays and shows a good internal clock in games. In addition, he shows the type of footwork and soft hands that will keep him at the position as he makes his way through the Minor Leagues.
At the plate, the switch-hitter displays sound mechanics and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He makes consistent hard contact, and more raw power could come as he develops and matures. He’s athletic and has a chance to be an above-average runner.
Caba trains with Basilio “Cachaza” Vizcaino in the Dominican Republic. Vizcaino is 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.