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International Free Agent Notes - NL Central

IFA news out of the Central division of the National League.


As we continue to move through the divisions, our next stop is in the NL Central. Cincinnati and St. Louis have already blasted past their pool allotments, with the Reds especially having no qualms about it. SS Alfredo Rodriguez and RHP Vladimir Gutierrez signed for $7 million and $4.75M, respectively, while the Red Birds have four signings of at least a million bucks. What about the other three teams? Let's look and see.

  • The Pirates, not known for signing many players from Colombia, have inked three this signing period - RHP Luis Arrieta, SS Francisco Acuna, and RHP Santiago Florez. It has already been reported that Florez received a $150,000 bonus and Acuna pulled in $130,000. The report on Florez is correct, however, complications in Acuna's deal lowered his bonus by nearly half to $70,000. The other right hander, Arrieta, signed for $130,000.

    Since I began tracking international prospects in 2012, I only have a record of the Bucs signing one other Colombian, RHP Luis Escobar in 2013. While these records aren't nearly as comprehensive as what the league office has, it does have all publicly reported deals. Escobar has panned out nicely since signing, and I'm sure Pirates fans are hoping for more of the same from Arrieta, Florez, and Acuna.

  • Milwaukee always seems to hit the same three locales in their latin scouting, targeting the big two - Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, and also Panama. It's more of the same this year as they have only signed players from those three countries with OF Bryan Dimas being the lone Panamanian. Dimas signed for just $45,000, which is a drop in the bucket for MLB organizations.

    Dimas' bonus is nothing compared to the deal signed by right hander Yunior Juan though. The Dominican pitcher signed for $0, and no I did not make a typo. Juan did not receive a penny for his services, playing for the love of the game and the opportunity to play baseball for a living.

  • There has been little to zero chatter about the Cubs' international spending. The outside-the-box thinking organization has eschewed the major hotbeds for talent and instead went a little off the beaten path. With zero signings from Venezuela or the DR, they instead inked a pair of Mexican teens and one from Colombia.

    RHP Manuel Rodriguez and LHP Ferrol Heredia hail from south of the border with Rodriguez receiving a $100,000 bonus and the southpaw Heredia garnering $50,000. Colombian RHP Danis Correa took home the largest bonus from the Cubs though, signing for $225,000 and accounting for nearly half their spending.

  • Other players that cashed a check in the six figures are: 

    Reds - SS Jeison Rijo ($130K)
    Brewers - C Roberto Molina ($200K)
    Pirates - RHP Anguel Suero ($125K) and RHP Noe Toribio ($100K)
    Cardinals - C Ivan Herrera ($200K) and SS Yowelfy Rosario ($175K)

  • Now for the players that fell under the $100K plateau:

    Cubs - P Chi-Feng Lee ($30K)
    Reds - OF Isaias Silverio ($80K), IF Mario Soto ($30K), and IF Ermys Reyes ($5K) 
    Brewers - RHP Jeison Medina ($50K), and RHP Jose Romero ($10K)
    Pirates - RHP Francis Del Orbe ($75K), RHP Samuel Reyes ($45K), Rayvi Rodriguez ($35K), and CF Emison Soto ($10K)
    Cardinals - RHP Enmanuel Soto ($70K), C Joyser Garcia ($60K), RHP Rodard Avelino ($45K),