Garcia headlines Phillies' int'l signings
The Phillies came to agreement on Sunday with several notable international prospects, including one of the top middle infielders from the Dominican Republic, on a busy first day of the 2017-18 international signing period.
According to industry sources, the club agreed to a $2.5 million deal with shortstop Luis Garcia, ranked No. 7 on MLBPipeline's Top 30 International Prospects list. Sources also indicated the club has deals in place with right-handed pitcher Victor Vargas of Colombia for $525,000, right-handed pitcher Carlos Betancourt of Venezuela for $450,000, right-handed pitcher Israel Puello from the Dominican Republic for $460,000 and Venezuelan catcher Cesar Rodriguez for $500,000.
• Complete breakdown of where Top 30 international prospects landed
"I think Sal (Agostinelli) and his group did a really good job with this class," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Sunday at Citi Field, referring to the Phillies' international scouting director. "There's a variety of skillsets in this class, ranging from what we hope is going to be an impact middle infielder, but also several intriguing arms, a couple catchers. They did a really good job of identifying players of different backgrounds and different skillsets and creating what we hope will be an impactful class."
Garcia is considered a solid defender and has wowed scouts with his plus arm and range to all directions. He also shows good footwork and advanced body control. On offense, the switch-hitting infielder has a short and quick swing. He's a contact hitter with good speed and an approach that's probably better suited for the top of the lineup.
"These players are 16 years old and by virtue of their age there's obviously risk associated with players that are this young," Klentak said. "So signing a few of them allows us more of a likelihood that we hit on them. I think that's part of Sal's strategy down there: get as many good players as we can."
According to the new rules established by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, every team gets at least $4.75 million to spend on international prospects. Any team receiving a Competitive Balance Round A pick in the Draft gets $5.25 million in international bonus pool money. Additionally, teams receiving a Competitive Balance Round B pick get $5.75 million to spend.
A club can trade as much of its international pool money as it would like, but there is a limit -- 75 percent of a team's initial pool -- to how much one team can acquire.
The Phillies' pool total for this year's signing period is $4.75 million, but they are likely to add pool money in the coming days.
Here's a list of players the Phillies have agreed to terms with for the 2017-18 international signing period so far:
Luis Garcia, SS, Dominican Republic, $2,500,000
Victor Vargas, RHP, Colombia, $525,000
Cesar Rodriguez, C, Venezuela, $500,000
Carlos Betancourt, RHP, Venezuela, $460,000
Alfonso Puello, RHP, Dominican Republic, $460,000
Oscar Gonzalez, C, Venezuela, $135,000
Alberto Torres, LHS, Colombia, $90,000
Diego Tamariz, RHP, Venezuela, $10,000