Drafting is one way of developing your team, but another way is going the International Free Agent route. Over the course of the Blue Jays franchise they have acquired a handful players that have been cornerstones of the organization. Here is a list of the top 10 Blue Jays international free agent signings.
10. Miguel Castro
The Blue Jays signed Miguel Castro just two weeks after his 17th birthday back in 2012 for just $43,000. Three years after his signing and at just 20-years of age, Castro was closing out games to start the 2015 season for the Blue Jays. After just 18 appearances and four saves, Castro was showing signs of struggling with control and was sent back down to the minors to develop a little more. Toronto would be in a playoff hunt by mid season and used Castro as part of the package to acquire Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins.
To date, Castro has pitched in over 200 big league games between Toronto, Colorado and now Baltimore. Now at the age of 25-years old, Castro has established himself as a full-time bullpen arm with the Orioles pitching in over 60 games the last two seasons.
9. Cesar Izturis
In the summer of 1996, the Blue Jays signed 16-year old Venezuelan middle infielder Cesar Izturis and he developed through the Blue Jays organization. In 2001, after batting .292 in AAA, Izturis was called up and played 46 games for the Jays batting .269, going 8-9 in stolen bases and striking out just 15 times to go with eight extra base hits.
Izturis would go on to play in over 1,300 major league games, winning a gold glove and being named to the All-Star Game in 2005. Prokopec would start 12 games and come out of the bullpen for 10 more in 2002 with a 6.78 ERA and never pitch in the major leagues again. Izturis also has the distinction of being traded for Greg Maddux straight up.