Even though the draft gets all of the attention, the July 2nd international signing period is where the Yankees really do some major damage and acquire top shelf amateur talent. They’ve operated this way for decades, because money (and the Yankee brand) talks on the open market while the draft restricts them to a specific position (usually late for the Yanks). In recent years they’ve signed top prospects like Jesus Montero, Arodys Vizcaino, Jose Tabata, and shiny new toy Gary Sanchez off the international market, and they’re sure to be in the top talents this year.
The team has yet to announce any signings, but that’s not a surprise. They’ll trickle out over time. Here are some links from around the netweb to get you up to speed…
- Baseball America’s Ben Badler says that the Yankees and other big money teams are going to wait this thing out a bit this summer because right now, the prices are not lining up with the talent. He adds that the top Dominican prospects won’t be signing today, and that PED testing has really wreaked some havoc on the market.
- The Yanks have been connected to a few players this year (sub. req’d), though they don’t have an obvious number one target (like they did last year with Sanchez). They have interest in Venezuelan SS (and badass name) Rougned Odor (video), Venezuelan LHP Angel Mejias, Dominican OF Wilmer Romero (video), and Dominican SS Javier Pimentel.
- Keith Law (Insider only) adds that the Yanks are the assumed destination of Dominican RHP Felix Jorge, who “was 89-91 earlier this year with some feel for a curve and change, but his velocity has dropped of late, though he has a projectable body that promises more.”
- Remember, they’ve also been connected to Mexican RHP Luis Heredia and Dominican RHP Rafael DePaula earlier this year, though the latter is in some age and identity trouble. If you’re a BA subscriber, here’s scouting reports on this year’s top 33 prospects.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any significant signings if and when word gets out.