Yankees sign Czech catcher

Hughes to start on Saturday
Game 114: Cursed

Via Mister Baseball, the Yankees have signed 20-year-old Czech catcher Daniel Vavrusa to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Dominican Summer League. Vavrusa did attend high school in the United States for two years and was scheduled to attend junior college in Arizona this fall, but he decided to turn pro instead. He had been playing with SaBaT Prague and Kotlarka Praha in the Czech Republic, and had been selected to the Czech National Team this year.

Teams have been signing more and more players out of Europe recently, most notable Alex Liddi of the Mariners (Italy) and Max Kepler of the Twins (Germany). Chances are Vavrusa won’t pan out, but it’s one of the team’s first steps into a new talent market.

Hughes to start on Saturday
Game 114: Cursed
  • Monteroisdinero

    Good move with Jorge Czeching out.

    • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Too easy.

      Next up: Siberia

      • toad

        What did the catcher say to the batter after Cy Young struck him out on three pitches?

        “Cy bury ya'”

  • YankeesJunkie

    It would be awesome to see the Yankees spend big money in putting academies in poorer countries such as Brazil and China and start trying to develop more talent out of those countries. Obviously it might take 10-20 years to get a decent player, but it only takes one or two to make the entire program worth not including the millions in potential fan base.

    • AJ (Not Burnett)

      I think Europe is a huge untapped market, and it has the potential to be close to what Latin America has been for the past few decades. Baseball is definitely becoming more popular over there, and the sooner the Yankees can set up a development program, the better edge they’ll have over the other teams. They definitely have the money and resources to make it happen, especially since the Yankees are the most recognized baseball team in the world.

      I think you’re absolutely right about China, but you lost me with Brazil. It just doesn’t seem like they have very big baseball following over there, even with their proximity to so many baseball playing countries. Soccer pretty much dominates that whole continent, with the exception of Venezuela.

      • YankeesJunkie

        With such large urban populations especially on the coast even if you only 1 percent of children interested baseball that is a nominal number. In combination with how cheap it most likely would be especially compared to western Europe is why I mentioned.

        • AJ (Not Burnett)

          Brazil could be a viable option down the road, but I think Europe is just more baseball ready as a whole right now. No, it’s not anything like Japan or Latin America, but it’s in the more immediate future for baseball, and with about 4x the population of Brazil, it’s a much larger talent pool.

          • Bavarian Yankee

            you guys really think that baseball is becoming more popular in Europe? Yeah, but it’s gotta be like the 100th most popular sport and the chances it gets any more popular are pretty slim. Baseball will never be as popular as the top 20 sports but if 2-3 guys from Europe make the majors every 10 years that would be a great success.

            btw: great that they signed that kid, I’ve seen him playing twice when he was with Prague.

    • http://twitter.com/urbainshockcor Urban

      They did it in Puerto Rico once the draft was implemented in the U.S., which led to a decrease in development and drafting in the U.S. They expanded the academies to Latin American countries after Puerto Rico was incorporated into the draft, killing off the academies in Puerto Rico, in essence killing baseball development there. Perhaps they are now planning for the eventual incorporation of all of Latin America into the draft, which will lead to teams abandoning their academies and player development in those countries, killing off baseball interest there, too. Next up China, Eastern Europe, who knows.

      Not sure it’s doing anything to improve the quality of play. Just shifting where the dollars are going for development.

      • Mark

        I never understood why Puerto Ricans weren’t in the draft to begin with, as they are US citizens.

  • Tom Swift

    But what about the Slovak catching prospects?

  • Paul

    I’m an Aussie so whenever a team signs a player who doesn’t come from a land full of baseball, I feel proud.

    So yay.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Put another shrimp on the barbie!

    • http://twitter.com/urbainshockcor Urban

      …and watch out for those stingrays, and say G’day to Paul Hogan while having a Vegemite sandwich.

      Hmmm, I think we’ve now done everything we can to insult our Aussie friends!

  • EndlessMikeJr

    Hopefully this is a hitting catcher unlike Jesus Monetero who is a future first basemen on another team.

    • Pants Lendelton

      There’s sarcasm somewhere in this comment…

  • Joe

    What ever happened to the Australian OF the yanks signed?

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Didn’t they sign two? I think one of them was named Austin. I could be making this up though.