2022 International Signing Period

So a round up of which Cuban players are expected to sign with the Astros in January per the reporting of Francys Romero…

Romero back in May reported that Espinosa had a deal in place with the Pirates so possibly an interesting backstory there.

Not a signing per se but Romero also tweeted this out last month…

The Cuban National Team was most likely staying at that hotel. Interesting coincidence that the Astros house their minor leaguers at the same hotel.

Hppe the Astros continue to sign talented players from Cuba.

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Cuba si, Yankees no

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Romero also reported recently on a Cuban catcher the Astros may have interest in…

MLB Pipeline with their Top 50 International Prospects for the upcoming signing period. None of the Cuban players mentioned in this thread show up on the list. The only player linked to the Astros is #42 OF Kenny Gomez out of the DR. MLB Pipeline rates him a 55 on the hit and power tools and also says he has the ability to stay in CF. No expected bonus given but certainly something in the $1MM range wouldn’t be surprising.

Just waiting to see what 20 year old pitcher they sign for 15k that will be in the majors for 2025.

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This. So very much this.

So MLB Pipeline has apparently fucked this up by reporting that Gomez was born in San Cristobal in the Dominican. Francys Romero says he’s Cuban (and I would bet on Mr. Romero being more accurate)…

So the signing period kicks off in about a week. BA has updated their Top 50 International Prospects list and as they’ve done in recent years their rankings are solely based on expected signing bonuses. The Astros are expected to sign 3 players on the list:

#27 OF Luis Baez
#47 OF Kenny Gomez
#50 SS Alberto Hernandez

Gomez and Hernandez are both Cubans and were mentioned earlier in the thread. Baez is out of the Dominican and is slightly unusual in that he could have signed last year. So he’s already 18 while the rest of the guys that populate the Top 50 list are the standard 16/17 year olds. It’s virtually certain that the Astros have had a deal in place for over a year and that both sides had agreed to a delay in his signing (Houston because they didn’t have space in their bonus pool last year and Baez presumably because what the Astros were offering was far higher than what other teams were offering). Baez is listed at 6’3" and projects as a corner guy but the BA writeup notes there is some risk he could end up at 1B.

So it’s been reported in several places that the Astros have $5,179,700 in their international bonus pool for signings. They’re one of 14 clubs with that amount available. 14 other clubs have higher amounts (ranging between $5.7MM and $6.3MM) while the Dodgers and Blue Jays have only $4.6MM.

Update on Prieto…

Bit more on Kenni Gomez:

The Astros PR today announced the signing of 15 players which included the 3 Cuban players Francys Romero had previously reported on. The remaining 12 players were from the DR and includes the previously-reported signing of OF Luis Baez. 6 pitchers, 5 outfielders and 4 infielders were among the signees.

On his website today, Francys Romero reported that INF Alberto Hernandez was signed for $950K, OF Kenni Gomez was signed for $775K and RHP Carlos Espinosa was signed for $480K.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB Pipeline reports a slightly different amount re the Gomez bonus…

This twitter account out of the DR reported the signing bonus for Baez…

Whether the amount reported for Baez is accurate or not I can’t say for certain but I suspect the number is in the ballpark.

So it would appear those 4 players (Baez, Hernandez, Gomez and Espinosa) accounted for $3.5MM of the approximately $5.2MM in their international signing pool for 2022.

The BA signings tracker had one additional player (Nicola Ramirez) signing with the Astros that wasn’t reported in the press release. MLB Pipeline confirmed the signing bonus for Baez and had bonus info on three additional players…

Luis Baez, OF, Dominican Republic – $1,300,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Alberto Hernandez, SS, Cuba – $950,000 (Francys Romero)
Kenni Gomez, OF, Cuba – $775,000 (Francys Romero)
Samuel Capellán, IF, Dominican Republic – $500,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Carlos Espinosa, RHP, Cuba – $480,000 (Francys Romero)
Rafael Ramirez, 3B, Dominican Republic – $360,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Áxell De Paula, OF, Dominican Republic – $300,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Edwin Gonzalez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Nicola Ramirez, SS, Dominican Republic
Jose Arias, OF, Dominican Republic
Henry Bibieca, RHP, Dominican Republic
Waner Luciano, IF, Dominican Republic
Marco Marcelino, OF, Dominican Republic
Sandy Mejía, RHP, Dominican Republic
Michael Pérez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Raimy Rodríguez, RHP, Dominican Republic

So those first 7 players accounted for nearly $4.7MM of the approx. $5.2MM international signing pool.

The Astros transactions page reflects one additional signing (in bold below)…

Luis Baez, OF, Dominican Republic – $1,300,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Alberto Hernandez, SS, Cuba – $950,000 (Francys Romero)
Kenni Gomez, OF, Cuba – $775,000 (Francys Romero)
Samuel Capellán, IF, Dominican Republic – $500,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Carlos Espinosa, RHP, Cuba – $480,000 (Francys Romero)
Rafael Ramirez, 3B, Dominican Republic – $360,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Áxell De Paula, OF, Dominican Republic – $300,000 (MLB Pipeline)
Edwin Gonzalez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Nicola Ramirez, SS, Dominican Republic (per Baseball America)
Jose Arias, OF, Dominican Republic
Henry Bibieca, RHP, Dominican Republic
Waner Luciano, IF, Dominican Republic
Marco Marcelino, OF, Dominican Republic
Sandy Mejía, RHP, Dominican Republic
Michael Pérez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Raimy Rodríguez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Brayan Sanchez, C, Venezuela

First official discussions re: an International Draft