Detroit Tigers Ink 16 International Free Agents in First Week

July 2nd began the first day that the international free agent signing period began, when newly eligible international players could be signed. Through the first week, the Tigers have signed 16 players, including a pair of very promising position players.

As TigsTown has been detailing out over recent years, the Tigers have shied away from making big splashes in the international free agent market. The last time they handed out a seven figure signing bonus was in 2010, when they signed outfielder Danry Vasquez out of Venezuela. Vasquez was traded a few years ago in the trade that brought Jose Veras to the Tigers.

The irony of that trade, and a telling sign of why the Tigers have shied away from big money signings, is that the other prospect involved in that trade, right-hander David Paulino, an afterthought at the time, has emerged as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Vasquez meanwhile is languishing in Double-A with a .668 OPS. And Paulino was a lightly regarded prospect when he was inked, and the Tigers were primarily aware of him because of his cousin, Tigers prospect at the time Brenny Paulino.

In essence, with the restrictions on signing bonuses that can be handed out in the international market, the Tigers don't see the benefit of putting all their eggs in a basket or two, and instead prefer to spread them around, acquiring a number of prospects with potential with the hope that a couple will develop down the road.

In that vein, the Tigers did make a couple of priority signings, but mostly have been spreading their $3.15 million around, which has allowed them to already sign 16 free agents.

Among those that are priority signings, shortstop Wenceel Perez was highly regarded out of the Dominican Republic, and outfielder Jhon Sandoval (Venezuela) was another focus by the Tigers. 

Perez reportedly received a $550,000 signing bonus. He projects as a prototypical quick-twitch shortstop, with fast reactions, good speed, and the ability to hit for average.

Sandoval projects to be a corner outfielder, where they expect his athleticism will bring along plenty of power with it. Due to safety concerns and out of respect for the families, TigsTown will honor requests and not report any signing bonus of players signed out of Venezuela.

Among other reported signings, outfielder Ernesto Adames (DR) has been reported to have received a $150K signing bonus by Baseball America and a $200K signing bonus by MLB.com. Outfielder Jimmy Mojica (DR) was reported by BA to have received a $255,000 signing bonus.

Below are the full list of international signings, and reported signing bonuses fora few of the Dominican players:

OF Ernesto Adames (DR) - $150K/$200K

SS Wenceel Perez (DR) - $550K

2B Enrique Bautista (DR)

RHP Francarlos Dacosta (VZ)

LHP Luis Perez (VZ)

C Eliezer Alfonzo (VZ)

OF Esney Chacon (VZ)

OF Jhon Sandoval (VZ)

SS Kendry Marte (DR)

SS Yerjeni Perez (DR)

RHP Joseph Salazar (VZ)

LHP Cleiverth Perez (VZ)

LHP Ricardo Silva (VZ)

SS Frank Veliz (VZ)

OF Jimmy Mojica (DR) - $255K

OF Jhenrry Moreno (VZ)


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