Blue Jays International Signings: July 2, 2013
Feb 24, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; A detailed view of the Toronto Blue Jays logo before a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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.
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.
Other known signees include Jesus Ramirez and Miguel Almonte from the Dominican Republic, neither of which are ranked in Mayo’s Top 20. Neither’s signing bonus has been released by the team.
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.