Red Sox have deal with No. 25 int'l prospect (sources)

January 15th, 2023

The Red Sox are in the process of adding an international prospect that has been compared to a young Howie Kendrick.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a deal with Dominican shortstop Yoeilin Cespedes, who is the No. 25-ranked prospect on the Top 50 International Prospects list. The deal is estimated to be worth around $1.4 million.

The Red Sox, who have a base signing pool of $4,644,000, have not confirmed the agreement. The deal is pending a physical. It’s worth noting that the Red Sox forfeited $500,000 from their pools for signing Trevor Story, who rejected a qualifying offer during the 2021-22 offseason.

Cespedes has a chance to be a special prospect, so the lofty Kendick comparison has merit. The teen has a compact and strong swing with plus bat speed and noteworthy raw power. He already shows an advanced approach at the plate, and he projects to be a solid everyday Major League player because of his overall skill set.

Where Cespedes plays is to be determined, and that works in his favor. The versatile teen can play any infield position but will likely end up at second base or third base. He also projects to have an average arm and be an average runner.

Off the field, Cespedes, who trained with Josue Mateo, has also been praised for his makeup, baseball IQ and great work ethic. 

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.