International Signing Period Underway

It’s July 2nd and that means that teams around Major League Baseball are now allowed to sign international free agents. Teams are given allotments of money that they are allowed to spend to sign players, based on market size and other factors. The lowest allotment this year is $4.75-million, which is also what the Phillies were allotted to spend.

The biggest of the signings so far is Dominican shortstop Luis Garcia, who reportedly signed with the Phillies for $2.5-million. The 16-year old has displayed stellar defense at both shortstop and second base, but is likely to stick at shortstop because of his range and arm strength.

At 5′ 11″, 160 pounds, Garcia is expected to fill out, but many scouts don’t project him to ever develop a lot of power and Garcia doesn’t try to play a power game offensively. Instead, he focuses on making contact and hitting the ball to all fields. His offense is helped along by above-average speed.

Garcia was rated seventh on the MLB Pipeline list of top international prospects.

Other reported signings include:

RHP Victor Vargas, Columbia, $525-thousand
C Cesar Rodriguez, Venezuela, $500-thousand
RHP Alfonso Puello, Dominican Republic, $460-thousand
RHP Carlos Betancourt, Venezuela, $450-thousand

The signings equal $4.435-million, leaving a little more than $300-thousand to sign any other players. Teams are allowed to trade allotment dollars, meaning that the Phillies could trade all or some of the remaining allotment or could acquire more allotment space from another club.

The Phillies have not yet confirmed any of the signings, but they have been reported by various sources.

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