The international free agent signing period opens in less than two weeks, and the Yankees have been connected to almost every meaningful prospect. They reportedly have several deals already in place and are expected to spend upwards of $30M between bonuses and penalties. Here are some stray notes on international prospects:
- Cuban OF Yasmani Tomas has defected, reports Ben Badler. He still needs to go through several steps (establish residency, be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, etc.) before being declared a free agent, so it might not be until next year that he can actual sign. Badler says the 23-year-old Tomas “can hit towering home runs (and) has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale,” though there are holes in his swing and he struggles against breaking balls. This won’t be the last time you hear about him.
- The Yankees are likely to sign Venezuelan SS Wilkerman Garcia to a seven-figure bonus, according to Badler (subs. req’d). Garcia, 16, is considered one of the best hitters available this summer, and Badler says (subs. req’d) he is “a switch-hitter who’s better from the left side, where he can square up good velocity with a mature approach at the plate … Garcia’s offensive game is more about hitting than power, but there’s strength projection in his body.”
- MLB.com posted their list of the top 30 international free agents, and, like their draft coverage, it includes scouting reports, 20-80 scouting scale grades, and video. All for free. It’s awesome. The Yankees are connected to prospects No. 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16, 18, 25, and 29. If they were serious about building up the farm system, they’d sign the other 19 prospects too. (Do I need to say that’s sarcasm? Because it was sarcasm.)