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Dodgers Open International Signing Period With A Bang



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Eddy Martinez Isn’t Ready

The third top player on the market is Cuban outfielder Eddy Martinez, who is seen as another expected Dodgers’ signee, though that designation appears premature. The 20 year old decided against signing on July 2 and is still mulling over his options.

Were the Dodgers to lose out on both Fox and Martinez, it would put a serious damper on the team’s spending decision, even after landing a top talent in Alvarez. Getting Martinez into the system would definitely make up for losing out on both Fox and Yoan Moncada. Only time will tell if the organization can convince the outfielder that Los Angeles is the best fit.

Cleaning Up In The Carribean

While the Dodgers “only” signed one of the top three talents available, they also added several more teens from the Dominican, including dipping in to Venezuela and Nicaragua. Topping the list of Dominican talent are outfielder Starling Heredia, as well as shortstops Ronny Brito and Oneal Cruz.

Heredia and Brito got $2.6 million and $2 million, respectively, while Cruz received a $950,000 bonus. Added to that list are outfielders Christopher Arias and Carlos Rincon, infielders Luis Rodriguez and Aldo Espinoza, and right-hander Ramon Rosso. Arias received $500,000, while bonus figures for the others have not been made public.

While Alvarez and (potentially) Martinez could debut in full season ball, it’s likely that the majority of the rest of these players debut in the Dominican Summer League next year. It’s been a while since the Dodgers had premier talent in that league, so these prospects will be a welcomed addition.

Playing With House Money

In addition to the nine international prospects the Dodgers sign on Tuesday, they also acquired four prospects in two separate trades. The club sent three international bonus slots to the Toronto Blue Jays for Chase De Jong and Tim Locastro, then sent their final slot to the Atlanta Braves for Caleb Dirks and Jordan Paroubeck.

The Dodgers had no use for their international slot money, as they’d already blown so far past their pool that it would have only saved them a few million dollars. So, they took four assets that had no value and converted them to four assets that do have value.

De Jong, a Southern California native, was a second-round pick in 2012 and was having a strong showing in the Midwest League before going down with an unspecified injury. He’s a very long, projectable right-handed pitcher who’s just 21 years old.

Locastro is an infielder who’s hit consistently since signing as a 13th-rounder in 2013. The second baseman gets on base and can run, as evidenced by his 30 stolen bases in 70 games this year.

Dirks is another California native, drafted just last year in the 14th round. The righty reliever has yet to allow a run in High-A this year. Paroubeck was a second-rounder in 2013 who had a strong debut in 2014 but hasn’t played this year.

The switch-hitting outfielder is just 20 years old and has been training with Barry Bonds for the past six years. This was just another example of the Dodgers’ front office getting creative and using their spending power to acquire talent on the cheap. As if spending lavishly wasn’t enough, they’re spending wisely as well.

Not Done Yet

Even after spending upwards of $20 million on nine international players, the Dodgers continue to wait for Martinez’s decision. Once he signs, the Dodgers will remain the favorite to sign top prospects who may defect from Cuba. There’s no point in stopping now, and the team hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

What do you think of the Dodgers’ international spending spree? Should they keep going or focus more on the Major-League team? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet your thoughts to @JaredJMassey.

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Written by Staff Writer

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