In 2013, the team spent the third-most money on international talent just a few years removed from ranking dead-last in the same category. These international signings don’t count players like Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Guerrero because of their status from playing professionally for so many years in their respective countries.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Dodgers signed nine international players to bonuses of at least six figures in 2013:
Top signing: SS Lucas Tirado, Dominican Republic, $1 million.
Six-figure signings: 3B Alberto Estrella (Dominican Republic), OF Michael Medina (Dominican Republic), SS Moises Perez (Venezuela), OF Daniel Padilla (Venezuela), SS Dennis Santana (Dominican Republic), RHP Takumi Numata (Japan), RHP Miguel Urena (Dominican Republic), RHP Osiris Ramirez (Dominican Republic)
While Lucas Tirado was the only one to get a seventh figure, the Dodgers were quite busy in 2013 and signed a total of 48 players from other countries. Tirado is a 6’2 shortstop that hits from the left side. He’s expected to make his pro debut this summer in the rookie league as a 17-year-old. The next highest bonus went to Alberto Estrella for $600,000. He’s a 6’3, 16-year-old third baseman with the ability to hit with power from both sides of the plate.
Breaking the $200,00 mark were Michael Medina, Moises Perez and Daniel Padilla. Medina signed for $275,000 and is a 17-year-old outfielder with a strong arm and a power swing. On the smaller side, Perez is just 16 years old and is 5’11, but signed for $250,000 as a slick fielder. Padilla signed for $200,00 and is another strong-armed outfielder.
Another shortstop, Dennis Santana, signed for $170,000 and is a raw talent that will need to develops and he’s just 17 years old. The Dodgers created some controversy when they signed 19-year-old Takumi Numata because of Numata’s refusal of the normal amateur baseball protocol. He signed for $155,000 and will likely join the team this summer in the rookie league. Another 19-year-old the team signed is right-hander Miguel Urena. He’s the biggest player signed at 6’8 and can reach mid-90s at times, but is extremely raw. The final six-figure signee was right-hander Osiris Ramirez, who is a converted shortstop and signed for $100,000. He is still learning to pitch and is a work in progress.
As the Dodgers continue to spend on talent, it’ll be a few years before any of the rewards from 2013 will be in the big leagues, but it’s a complete turnaround from the McCourt days.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw is honored to pitch Opening Day in Australia for the Dodgers