This is what the San Diego Padres brought General Manager AJ Preller in to do. Of course ownership saw potential in Preller’s minor league scouting and ability to build a team, but his ultimate strength was widely known to be his international reputation. Six international prospects were signed to contracts by the Padres this morning.
As initially reported by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, San Diego was able to land these guys. The first 6 players that were signed are as follows:
- Luiz Almanzar ($4M), SS, Dominican Republic
- Gabriel Arias ($1.9M), SS, Venezuela
- Jeisson Rosario ($1.85M), OF, Domincan Republic
- Tirso Ornelas ($1.5M), OF, Mexico
- Justin Lopez ($1.2M), SS, Venezuela
- Jordy Barley ($1M), SS, Dominican Republic
AJ Preller isn’t messing around. The second year GM finally got his chance to show off his reputation in the International Market that we have heard so much about. He didn’t hesitate for a second, making some of the biggest splashes on the day.
Every single one of these players that Preller was able to grab are ranked Top-30 International Prospects, according to MLB.com’s official list. Luis Alamanzar and Gabriel Arias were both ranked Top-5 Prospects on this list. Yesterday, @MLBPipeline’s Twitter account, highlighted Alamanzar and Arias on this list, and now they are Padres.
All of these 6 players are young and only time will tell if they blossom into MLB stars. It is interesting to point out that none of these 6 players are pitchers. San Diego has a history of heavy pitching influence in the pre-Preller era. Preller has seemed to turn that notion around in the last 2 years as he has primarily focused on adding bats. Even in 2 poor seasons, the Padres offense has definitely been more exciting to watch.
They did sign two pitchers, however, as they still weren’t done yet. Even Jesse Sanchez noted on Twitter that the Padres seemed to be taking the show for International Signing day. The pitchers they signed were Dominican right-handers Jose Manuel Guzman and Michell Miliano. San Diego also picked up Venezuelan Catcher Alison Quintero and Tucupipa Marcano, a Venezuelan Short Stop.
As mentioned, it seems like the Padres picked up quite the lot of players. Whats more interesting is that 5 of these players are short stops, including 4/6 of the Top-30 players they signed. In reading some of their profiles on the Top-30 list, it seems that some may move onto other positions. With that said, Preller is clearly showing his concern in the position. They have a couple other young shortstops coming up through their system right now too, including Jose Rondon. Alexei Ramirez has done an admirable job this year at the position, but he is old and will be gone soon and the Padres really haven’t had a solid SS for quite some time before Ramirez. It is smart that Preller is looking to replenish the position.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, these signings exhaust San Diego’s “International Bank”. Their max spending to avoid extra taxes was $3,347,600, which they well exceeded. The overage will also prevent them from being able to sign international players for 2 years. What’s the phrase… don’t spend all your money in one place? I don’t think Preller is worried about that though. He finally had his shot to make some big splashes in the international market and he did it. Only time will tell if these players develop into future Padres.