A's Ink Three International Free Agents

Over the past 10 weeks, the Oakland A's have had three international amateur free agent signings approved by the Commissioner's Office. We have the details on the newest members of the A's Dominican Academy.

The Oakland A's have recently had three international amateur free agent signings approved by the Commissioner's Office. The three players signed are 3B Miguel Mercedes, RHP Juan Mendoza and LHP Jhenderson Hurtado.

Mercedes, 17, is a native of the Dominican Republic. The 6'4'', 205-pound third baseman trained at the Arias and Goodman Academy in San Pedro De Macrois in the DR. According to the A's Coordinator of International Scouting Sam Geaney, the A's have been interested in for some time.

"He's a player our scouting staff in the DR identified quite early in last years signing period," Geaney said via e-mail. "We were able to stay on him and eventually come to an agreement."

According to Geaney, Mercedes has an advanced bat with the chance to develop power as he matures. He has a strong arm and the organization believes he has the ability to play in different spots on the diamond later in his career. Geaney also noted that Mercedes spent the last year dedicating himself to getting into good shape physically.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report that the A's came to terms with Mercedes. Once the A's and Mercedes agreed to contract terms, his signing had to be approved by MLB to be official.

The A's also recently had the signings of Venezuelan pitchers Mendoza and Hurtado approved.

Mendoza, who turns 17 on April 15, is 6'2'', 170 pounds and he hails from Caracas. His signing became official at the end of January. According to Geaney, Mendoza already has a good feel for commanding his pitches and has a chance to add velocity as he matures physically.

"He is a very loose-armed guy with lots of projection," Geaney said.

Hurtado will turn 17 on March 28. The left-hander is 6'1'', 180 pounds and he hails from Valencia. Geaney described Hurtado as an "athletic kid with a sound delivery." Hurtado's best secondary pitch is his change-up, according to Geaney, and the southpaw has "some present arm strength that should increase in time."

Other News And Notes

- The A's announced on Saturday the release of left-hander Garrett Olson. Olson will be pursuing an opportunity to pitch in Korea. The veteran southpaw had been in A's big league camp as a non-roster invitee. He was expected to start the season in Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats.

- A's non-roster invitee Luke Montz collected his first hit of the spring on Saturday. It was a two-run homerun off of Angels' RHP Jered Weaver. Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes also homered off of Weaver.

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