Kiley McDaniel released an 2-part update on potential July 2 signings this last week, and there is plenty of Dodger-related news.
The biggest and most surprising was this bit right off the bat about Yadier Alvarez.
“I’ve heard from multiple international scouts that believe the Dodgers already have a deal with Alvarez for $16 million (which would cost the Dodgers $32 million total, due to the dollar-for-dollar tax by MLB on 23 and under international prospects), but his reps deny a deal is done. Alvarez can’t sign right now anyway and, while a deal may not be done, everyone I’ve talked to thinks Alvarez will end up with the Dodgers (though a number of other teams are interested), and the price is about where scouts thought it would end up, so this makes a lot of sense.”
It’s surprising for a couple reasons:
- There’s already a dollar figure being floated out there
- It’s way cheaper than I expected
Hearing about Alvarez, one would think he could command a deal similar to what Yoan Moncada got, but I understand the reasons why he wouldn’t (largely unknown before Hector Olivera showcase, no track record, etc.). If that’s all it takes for the Dodgers to land one of the prizes of the next international signing period, then it’d be a prudent investment. I’ll have a full write-up on him sometime in the not-to-distant-near-future.
Next up is Starling Heredia, about whom I wrote last month. McDaniel had this to say about him:
“Rumored to be a Cubs target, then rumored to be a Dodgers target, then not rumored to be anyone’s target when it appeared L.A. would sign Moncada and now once again rumored to have a deal in place with the Dodgers, for $3.0 million.”
This would be fantastic. Here’s what I wrote about him:
“Heredia begins his stance with a wide base and his hands at shoulder level. He has a big leg kick that causes him to put his weight on his back leg. Surprisingly, he keeps his back leg pretty stiff/straight, unlike most hitters whose legs tend to bend/collapse a bit. He did make adjustments later in the video to bend his back leg a little more. He gets his front foot down quickly, opens his hips and brings the bat through the zone. Despite the high leg kick, he has a surprisingly short path to the ball, especially with his plus-bat speed. The ball jumps off his bat as he rolls his top hand over. The ball also sounds great coming off his bat. He displays plus-raw power that could translate to in-game power as he matures (remember, he’s just 16). The in-game video of him showed more of a line-drive approach, but the potential for power is definitely there. As McDaniel wrote, he definitely has a Manny Ramirez-esque finish to his swing. He also has some Hanley Ramirez and Jose Bautista in him. It’s not surprising to see him emulate three of the best Dominican-born hitters of the last 20 years.”
If you told me those were the two big-time players the Dodgers would land during the next international signing period, I’d be more than content. Grabbing Alvarez and Heredia (after already having grabbed Olivera) would make up for missing out on Moncada. But McDaniel has one more bit of information.
“Ronny Brito, SS, Dominican: Brito is rumored to be another of the Dodgers targets and the rumor is that he’ll get a bonus of $2 million. He has Manny Ramirez-like swing mechanics (though obviously not the same hitting tools) with some bat speed and the ability to stick in the dirt, but likely not at shortstop.”
Oh, another Manny Ramirez-like swing? From a potential infielder? Be still my beating heart. Brito is a newname linked to the Dodgers, and he sounds intriguing. There isn’t a ton of information readily available about him, but I suspect that will change as we inch closer to July 2.
In Part 2 of his international update, McDaniel had this to say about the Dodgers:
“There’s about 10 seven-figure July 2nd players that aren’t committed, but the Dodgers could still scoop up a few more and also any Cuban that strikes their fancy, so this one is far from over. Their bonus pool is just over $2 million, so, even if they trade for the maximum 50% in additional pool space, that would barely cover Heredia’s bonus; it looks like they’ve already committed to going way over their pool.”
This reaffirms what McDaniel and others reported after the Dodgers missed out on Moncada. They are going to go nuts and sign tons of international prospects (bonus pool restrictions be damned!). They have already, effectively, bought a draft pick, and it seems they’re going to buy anyone they want for a 50-week period (from July 2 to June 15, 2016).
These are good times to be a Dodger fan. Ownership’s willingness to invest in amateur players is refreshing (and necessary for long-term success). The previous ownership failed to realize that. The Dodgers are going to be good for a long time, and we will all be witness to that fact.