Yankees kick off international free agent signing with a bang

Just as Katie told us yesterday, the Yankees broke out the checkbook in a big way for this year’s international free agent signing period, including all four of the players she wrote about. While the Yankees have yet to confirm any of these signings, reports have them picking up ten players yesterday, for a total of $14.25 million in signing bonuses, far surpassing their assigned 2,193,100. Here is a quick look at the signings so far.

Dermis Garcia (SS): The Dominican power hitter will likely outgrow short, but with his big arm he could look nice at third. He was ranked at the top of MLB.com’s rankings and ninth for Baseball America, earning him $3.2 million from the Yankees.

Nelson Gomez (3B): Another Dominican infielder, Gomez was widely considered the top offensive player in this year’s class, fetching him $2.25 million from the Bronx Bombers. He was ranked second by MLB.com and sixth by BA.

Juan De Leon (OF): De Leon is a very toolsy player who was second on BA’s list and fifth on MLB.com. He also comes from the Dominican Republic and signed for $2 million.

Jonathan Amundaray (OF): Venezuela had a very impressive class this year and Amundaray may have lead the pack. Another toolsy outfielder, Amundaray was ranked seventh by MLB.com, while BA had him at 22nd. Still, the Yankees liked him enough to sign him for $1.5 million.

Wilkerman Garcia (SS): Shortstops were definitely a theme or the Yankees yesterday, who also took Garcia out of Venezuela. He is known for his defense as well as his bat, earning him $1.35 million. Unlike some of the other shortstops on this list who may find themselves playing elsewhere on the diamond to limit their defensive deficiencies, Garcia’s strong defense and versatility could send him to second or third. BA had him seventh, while MLB.com put him 14th.

Hyo-Jun Park (SS): The Yankees had been tied to the Korean shortstop for a while, making Park their first ever Korean international free agent signing. The eighteen year-old shortstop was apparently approached by the Yankees when he was a sophomore. Park’s smooth defense should keep him at shortstop and while he isn’t likely to hit for power, he can hit, run and defend. He was ranked thirteenth by MLB.com and eighteenth by BA and signed for $1.1 million.

Miguel Flames (C): The Venezuelan backstop moved from third base and while his big size (6’2, 205 lbs) will definitely garner questions about his ability to stick behind the plate, may considered him the best catcher on the market. Regardless his big bat will play nicely and that is why the Yankees gave him $1 million to sign with them. He was sixteenth on the BA list and 25th on MLB.com.

Antonia Arias (OF): Another Venezuelan outfielder, Arias is a has a lot of speed and good potential with his bat. There seems to be some disagreement about his potential, as MLB.com ranked him ninth and BA had him down at 28th. The Yankees got him to sign for $800k.

Diego Castillo (SS): The fourth shortstop on this list, Castillo comes out of Venezuela. He has a very strong arm, good footwork and soft hands, making him another strong defensive possibility. Considered to be a fairly polished sixteen year-old, the Yankees signed him for $750k. MLB.com had him ranked sixteenth, while BA put him at 24th.

Frederick Cuevas (OF): Finally, the Yankees finished up with Cuevas, left-handed outfielder from the Dominican Republic who signed for $300k.

Overall, that’s not a bad haul for one day’s work! Now comes the fun part – waiting and watching to see how many (and who) pan out.

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help.

One thought on “Yankees kick off international free agent signing with a bang

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