The Toronto Blue Jays today announced the signing of seven international free agents, including top prospects Roberto Osuna and Wuilmer Bacerra, who were both ranked in the top five potential July 2nd signings by Baseball America.
Osuna, a 6’3″230 lbs, 16 year old, right handed pitcher, is the nephew of former Major League reliever Antonio Osuna. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he tossed 19 2/3 innings in the Mexican League this summer.
Bacerra is a 6’4″ 190 lbs, 17 year old, Venezuelan outfielder, ranked as the fifth best unsigned international prospect by Baseball America.
The Blue Jays also signed the following players:
- Jesus Gonzalez, OF, Venezuela.
- Manuel Cordova, RHP, Venezuela.
- Alberto Tirado, RHP, Dominican Republic.
- Jairo Labourt, LHP, Dominican Republic.
- Yeyfry Del Rosario, RHP, Dominican Republic.
Gonzalez and Cordova were both named in Baseball America’s Top 40 potential signings.
Earlier this summer, Toronto paid a $1.3 million bonus to sign Dominican infielder Dawel Lugo. According to Baseball America, via MLBTR, it’s more than likely that the Blue Jays spent more than that on both Osuna and Bacerra, for which we might want to thank Tyler Beede and his overvaluing of a Vanderbilt education.
This is pretty much the exact alternative to the risks teams incur by spending big money for multiple years from aging free agents. Stocking their system like the Toronto Blue Jays have through a willingness to pay over slot at the draft and by dropping fliff on international signings not only creates future members of the Major League roster, it also creates trade bait for landing those missing pieces of the puzzle that other teams overspend for on the free agent market.
It’s almost a pity that for all the negative press that the Beede contract fail created among meathead journalists, these signings, which should be celebrated with vigor among the Blue Jays faithful, are likely to go unmentioned.
For more on Osuna, Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says the following:
The arm has a good breaking ball in it; can currently spin a good curve but struggled to stay over it and it got slurvy. Changeup had some vertical movement but he tipped it by adjusting the grip in the glove before the delivery. Was slower/more deliberate to plate on secondary stuff. Good feel for the mound and repeated mechanics pretty well for age. I like the arm quite a bit, but not the body. Could develop power arsenal. It’s not hard to envision a plus (60) FB, 55/60 CB, 50 CH arsenal, with some command and feel for pitching. Seven-figure player.