Alright, I’m going to begin doing a review of international free agent signings. So, as before, I’ll begin by defining my methodology: First, this will be a review of seasons 5-8 only. Next, I’m going to stick to reviewing players who received a signing bonus of/greater than 600K, which is slot money for a player taken with the last pick of the first round of the amateur draft. Third, like with the prospect reviews, I’ll go one division at a time. Fourth, I will include a team’s budget in international scouting and prospects (counting one million for every two transferred out, two million for every one million transferred in, and then subtracting 6 million for spending on amatuers). Then grades will be given based on potential added ML impact and depth against money spent. Also, while the numbers are easily found in the franchise rankings tab, I will list the number of IFAs on each franchise’s ML team, which wont be considered in grading. I expect these grades to be unrefined, arbitrary, and maybe unfair; but whatever, because everyone likes seeing an actual grade. Last, I want to remind the group that our world, compared to others, has had some abysmal IFA classes of late.
Indianapolis Hoosierdaddies- ($27m/year) Fourteen players signed over the four year period, including four catchers and seven pitchers. Joaquin Pascual was the most expensive signing, and is already contributing at the ML level, but his numbers aren’t great. Rafael Merced could turn into a nice ML catcher, and two other catchers, who aren’t great at catching, wield ML bats, in Tomas Alarcon and Felipe Martinez. Currently 4 IFAs on the ML roster and a grade here of C.
Huntington Herd- ($24.75m/year) Three times spent over five million on a signing bonuses, with ten total IFAs, by my count. Those three are David Ramirez, Jimmie Lee, and Rico Delgado. Lee and Delgado both offer two or three tools at the ML level if they reach projections, and Ramirez will be a great bullpen arm, a bullpen which may be constructed with three or four other IFAs. Currently there are 3 IFA’s for Huntington at the ML level, and a grade here of C+.
Florida Phoenix- ($28m/year) Before chazzzzzzzz took over there was almost no focus on international signings. Al Vazquez, Florida’s most expensive signing, is going to be an average ML player at best (in this author’s opinion), but beyond him there are a few things to like, such as Geronimo Beltran’s bat and eye, Pedro Berroa can be a closer, and Albert Pena has gold glove range with a decent enough bat. Has 4 IFA’s at the ML level, and a grade of B for some savvy pick-ups.
New York Mugger Funk- ($17.75m/year) Three key components to the Mugger Funk’s current success are IFA’s from seasons 1-4, in Esteban Montanez, Del Mercedes, and Alex Gutierrez. But despite these signings paying dividends, NY has turned away from a focus on international signings. In fact, in four seasons they have signed just four players, and only one worth mentioning, Ruben Pizzaro. He brought in a $5.8 million dollar bonus, but even then Pizzaro is no lock for the majors. NY has four IFAs at the ML level, but a D for money being inefficiently spent.