Yankees sign Polish left-hander Artur Strzalka


Via Matt Eddy: The Yankees have signed Polish left-hander Artur Strzalka. He is the first player born and raised in Poland to sign a professional contract with one of the 30 MLB clubs. No word on his signing bonus, but I assume it is relatively small. There would have been a ton of reports had it been significant.

Strzalka, 18, will report to Instructional League in the Dominican Republic after the season according to Mister Baseball. He will come stateside next year. Strzalka will play in the B-Level European Championship in Germany later this month before heading to the MLB European Academy (also in Germany) in August. I can’t find a scouting report anyway, but chances are this is a signing that has more to do with establishing a presence in Poland than landing a legitimate big league prospect. As with Dan Vavrusa (the Czech catcher the team signed two years ago) or the two Chinese players they signed in 2007, the Yankees are getting their foot in the door. Pretty neat.

Categories : Asides, Minors


  1. RetroRob says:

    Thank, god.

    I’ve been waiting for this.

    Errr, who?

  2. Pat D says:

    We rescued him from the Soviets!

  3. Robinson Tilapia says:

    A Polish baseball prospect in the Dominican Republic. Just have a camera crew follow him around. That alone could fill hours on the YES Network.


  4. ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:

    Perfect can he play third or SS?

  5. dkidd says:

    we just increased our fWARSAW

    /leaves quietly

  6. Stratocaster says:

    Nice! Let’s tap into that unexploited hotbed of baseball talent that is Poland.

  7. trr says:

    G?ówne t?umaczenia!!!

  8. Kramerica Industries says:

    In my early college years, I had a crush on some girl who was of Polish descent.

    Ok, that’s enough.

  9. Kosmo says:

    Does anyone know where the B-level European championship is held in Germany ? Living in Europe it might be of interest to me if I have time enough to attend.

  10. Algae says:

    This is just a ploy to sell more Yankee hats.

  11. Get Phelps Up says:

    The game thread after the Czech catcher link is a fun read.

  12. Jag says:

    The kid must think he has potential to make it to the bigs, I mean a 7 year minor league contract? The minor’s don’t pay much… Although, I guess if it’s not working out he can retire and pursue something else. Not like he’s leaving much on the table if he does. (Assuming he’s making the minor league minimum after the bonus.)

    • Laz says:

      Poland isn’t that wealthy of a country. Maybe he even views it as his ticket to the US.

      • Desperate in Seattle says:


        • Dan says:

          Wow what?

          • Desperate in Seattle says:

            If you don’t know why it is pointless explaining it to you and I don’t want to start a political debate in here. But the original comment.. I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I should have, however.

          • Bavarian Yankee says:

            that’s like saying somebody’s going to the US because he’s from Canada. Sure, Poland isn’t the wealthiest country in the world but the difference between living in Poland and the US is pretty much non-existent.

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              It’s a hell of a lot warmer here, though.

            • Laz says:

              Not even close.

              50K vs 14K

              Poland is much closer to Mexico than to US.

              • Desperate in Seattle says:

                Oh Good Lord. Poland has one of the healthiest and fastest growing economies in Europe. And still if the dude just wanted to move to a different country with a different economic situation he could just move about anywhere else in Europe and work there.

                Maybe, but only maybe, he just wants to play baseball in a country with a ridiculously high playing level compared to others, and doesn’t do it just to sneakily aquire a work permit to live in the US. But then, that’s what everyone who doesn’t live here is after, right?

                • RetroRob says:

                  Well, sure, the smallest can always represent the fastest growing.

                • Mac says:

                  I think you’re getting way too bent out of shape about this. The guy just threw out there, using the words “maybe” and “even,” that this could be a motivation. It certainly could be. I sort of doubt it is as well, but you’re acting like the guy stated as a fact that this was his motivation and then said we should build a fence to keep him in Poland. He just threw it out there as a possibility.

                  • Bigredbull says:

                    Stop with all the isults. I think Yankee organization knows what’s doing. They must see the kid has talent. They need new blood. Hey you’ll never know.

                    What they need is OFFENSIVE !!!!!
                    It’s hard to watch

                • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                  Yeah, I mean, Germany’s right next door.

            • Mac says:

              Poland’s GDP per capita in PPP terms is about 1/2 Canada’s. I don’t particularly care what the kid’s motivations for signing were, but there’s no need to start making stuff up.

    • Desperate in Seattle says:

      If you don’t think you have the potential to get to the big leagues in any sport then why would you stay with your sport at all instead of going to college or get a real job.

      Of course he thinks he can make it. If you don’t, you might just as well not even try.

      • Mac says:

        They’re going to pay him money to play a game. There are tons of guys in the minors with next to no chance of ever playing in MLB. Some of them might still truly believe that they can, but there are others who just love the game and enjoy playing it for a living.

        For plenty of these guys baseball will continue to be their job going forward as a coach, scout, etc. Being able to say I made it to X level and played for X years can really help them market themselves.

  13. Kd says:

    Good job yanks
    Who needs Cuba, Japan, DR.

  14. Dalek Jeter says:

    By sign Mike obviously means liberated on by Lefty he obviously means nuclear physicist. I have no idea where I was going with this.

  15. Stanislaw says:

    Na zdrowie!

  16. Bavarian Yankee says:

    “Strzalka will play in the B-Level European Championship in Germany later this month before heading to the MLB European Academy (also in Germany) in August.”

    nice. The MLB European Academy takes place in my hometown, so I guess I’ll see him play. I’ll try to record some vids ;)

  17. Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:


  18. Stan says:

    First thing they’ll have to teach him is that they run the basis in the wrong direction in Poland.

  19. Derbs says:

    I completely forgot about the 2 Chinese players…what ever happened to them?

  20. justauser says:

    Rumor has it that he throws breaking balls in fast ball counts because he’s Polish.

  21. cheddar says:

    They’re also looking to sign 1B/DH prospect Jak C. Maas.

  22. Bob Buttons says:

    Rumor says he has a Obi-wan-ish guidance from Al Simmons’ ghost.

  23. Il Cugino says:

    How many Polish people does it take to strike out Ryan Howard? If he’s a lefty, just one.

  24. Pseudoyanks says:

    South Pawsky

  25. Pa Poo says:

    Brian Stash-man strikes again! LOL!

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