Thursday, May 22, 2008

International Signings Review

AL North

Minnesota St. Paul Sots- ($7.63m/year) Daggers actually spent nothing on international scouting in season 8. Not sure if he still gets mail from his four international scouts, and if so where they go to look for talent. The franchise has made five signings in four seasons, a group of uninspiring players who shouldn’t top out above AA, led by relief pitcher Jesus Martin. The most expensive signing was his cousin, Benny Martin, at $2.5 million. Minnesota has no internationals on the big league club, and a D grade here, because there is at least an effort to minimize wasteful spending.

Chicago Knights- ($17.5m/year) katauska really doesn’t have the prospect budget to be pursuing top tier internationals, but of his five signings, there are two noteworthy relief pitchers signed. The good one is Antonio Kim, who signed for $5.7 million in season 5 and has potential to be a closer, and the bad one is Andres Ramirez, who has enough stuff to break in on the ML roster if he reaches projections. Damaso Estrada is the only foreign born player on the ML roster for the knights, and a C grade.

Dover Gophers- ($23.25m/year) badhame7 has realized the impact potential of international free agent signings, increasing the budget in this area every season he has owned the team. Season 6 saw the addition of a nice relief pitcher for $2.5 million in Edgar Elcano. Season 7 included the addition of a great defensive catcher in Delino Sanchez for $3.6, who may not be as useful going forward given today’s update. Then finally season 8 saw a coronation to this new commitment to IFAs in the $10 million dollar signing of Vic Suarez, who will lead off for this team for many seasons to come. Dover currently has 3 IFAs on the ML club, and a grade of B-, but expect more to come.

Milwaukee Gurus- ($54m/year) douglasdao has been incredibly aggressive pursuing IFAs for five or six seasons, with nearly 30% of his budget going towards this pursuit. To be honest it is a tough grade to give, as he has gotten some great talent, but it has been a little bit like driving a hummer when gas is $4.30 a gallon; inefficient. Still, he has added the back of the future rotation (Clayton Serrano, Enrique Mendoza, Ruben Lucano), a great hitting catcher and his defensive minded platoon-mate (Orlando Amaral and David Sardinha), and an average SS/CF (Rolando Castro). So then, as for a grade, I can’t give this franchise higher than a B+; take it as a sign of the luck that is required in the IFA process. The ML club has 5 internationals currently.

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