Tuesday was the first day that Major League Baseball teams could sign international players and the Toronto Blue Jays wasted no time in doing so, inking a total of 14 players to deals, including a pair of high profile targets.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca was the first to report the signing.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 2, 2013
As Davidi mentions, the Blue Jays locked up their top target of the international signing period, Venezuelan shortstop Yeltsin Gudino, handing the 16-year-old a signing bonus of $1.2 million.
Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com had Gudino ranked 11th in the international pool. A student of former Mariners/Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen, Gudino has been praised for his defensive skills at shortstop, where Mayo rates his a 5/6 with the glove and a 4/5 for his arm. He has somewhat limited power at this age, but solid control of the bat and is said to have a high baseball IQ despite his age.
The other high profile signing was outfielder Freddy Rodriguez, also from Venezuela and also 16-years-old. Rodriguez’s signing bonus is not yet known.
Rodriguez is said to possess the ability to stick in center field as he grows and has solid baseball instincts according to a team release. He features above average speed and gap power, which could also improve as he grows his 6ft 1in, 180lb frame.
The Blue Jays had a bonus pool of $2.817 million prior to the Gudino signing, meaning they have about $1.617 million to spread among the 13 other signings.