A's Ink Two International FAs; 6th Round Pick

The Oakland A's made headlines last week when they inked the biggest prize on the international free agent market in right-hander Michael Inoa. That wasn't the only international signing the A's made last week, however. We have the details on the A's other two international signees, as well as some draft signing updates.

According to Oakland A's Director of Player Personnel Billy Owens, the A's have signed two international free agents from Venezuela, outfielder Jose Sayegh and right-handed pitcher Elihoref Suniaga. Both players were scouted by the A's Julio Franco, who has covered Venezuela for Oakland for a number of years now and was responsible for signing three players on the A's current 40-man roster (Javier Herrera, Gregorio Petit and Henry Rodriguez).

"Julio Franco has done an excellent job over the years, so it is nice that he has been able to add some talent to our inventory of the [A's] international class of 2008," Owens said in an e-mail to OaklandClubhouse.com on Monday.

Sayegh, 16, is a 6'2'', 180 pound outfielder. According to Owens, Sayegh is a good athlete who is capable of playing all three outfield positions. Owens gave us this scouting report on Sayegh:

‘Tracks the ball well in the outfield and shows instincts and aggressiveness. Throws the baseball accurately with on-line carry and possibly plus arm strength. Swings the bat with authority. Ball jumps off his bat. Capable of using the whole field and carries power potential. Slightly off-balance at the plate right now and we will need to harness his aggressiveness at the plate to make him productive. Great makeup. Comes from a good family. Eager for the opportunity. Excited that he is wearing the green and gold.'

Suniaga, also 16, is 6'1", 170 right-handed pitcher. Owens described him as "projectable … with a very young body that will fill out and get much stronger." According to Owens, Suniaga is a strike-thrower who has a good delivery with a loose, easy arm action. His fastball sits in the 86-87 range right now and he has a developing change-up.

"We feel he will mature into someone that throws in the low 90s as he ages and his body fills out," Owens said.

"His breaking ball has the shape and arc with the necessary spin that it should improve and be a viable pitch in the future."

Owens sees the A's activity this past week – signing Michael Inoa and inking Sayegh and Suniaga – as only the start of Oakland's strong commitment to acquiring some of the top talent in the international market.

"Our scouts are currently working extremely hard to get a few other guys in white spikes in Latin America and we plan to be aggressive," Owens said.

"Inoa is a special player and I still get goose bumps realizing he is ours, but we definitely want him to be the tip of the iceberg as far as our commitment to the global market."

On the US front, the A's have come to terms with their sixth round pick in the 2008 draft, Tyreace House, according to A's Scouting Director Eric Kubota. House is an alum of the College of the Canyons, which is also the alma mater of A's left-hander Dana Eveland. The outfielder hit .348 this season and with a .428 OBP and 31 stolen bases. The A's have now signed eight of their top-10 picks.

Kubota also indicated that the A's had made significant progress in their negotiations with first-round draft pick Jemile Weeks and that they are hopeful of having him in the fold as soon as Tuesday of this week.

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