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Report: Blue Jays ‘Favourites’ To Sign Next July 2nd’s Top-Paid Prospect

Back in the J.P. Ricciardi days, the Blue Jays pulled all sorts of resources out of what was once a really important talent pipeline for the club: Latin America. The history of Blue Jays baseball is full of incredible players signed and developed out of those countries — George Bell, Tony Fernandez, and Juan Guzman from the Dominican Republic, for example, or Carlos Delgado, who is from Puerto Rico, and was signed from there just before MLB decided to include Puerto Rican players in the draft, beginning in 1989 — but because of a lack of resources early on in Ricciardi’s tenure, and because players so young took so long to develop and had so much less data on them to parse than the college players J.P. Moneyball preferred at the time, the team largely withdrew from that pool. When Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM, he immediately began to ramp up the club’s Latin American operations — a strategy that Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins (formerly Cleveland’s director of Latin American operations) have continued to good effect.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., signed on AA’s watch, is obviously the real gem of the last half-decade — maybe even the last decade or longer — but there have been some pretty big successes on the current regime’s watch as well.  Lourdes Gurriel’s signing last year was an obvious win for the club in the region, Brazilian pitcher Eric Pardinho seemed a nice pickup this July 2nd, and according to a fresh report from Ben Badler of Baseball America, it sounds like they may be set to sign another top-end youngster next summer, Orelvis Martinez.

“The expectation in the international scouting world is that Martinez will be the top-paid player this year on July 2, with the Blue Jays the favorites to sign him,” Badler explains, before noting his “easy power” at the plate, and countering the good with the fact that, though he will likely start as a shortstop, he will likely end up too big and slow for the position.

Of course, this doesn’t exactly mean he’s all but signed, but handshake commitments do tend to be made as much as a year in advance of July 2nd, so it’s at least possible that the race for his signature is over.

Here is some two-year-old video of Martinez:

I don’t know! Sure!

  • Barry

    My ability to project the future of a fifteen-year-old being what it is, all I can say is that if you can sign Orelvis, you do it. It’s not every day you get a chance to add the lead singer of Dread Zeppelin to your organization.

    • Barry

      I would think that since they can’t actually sign Martinez until July 2, it will have no impact on the Ohtani situation which, unless the MLBPA scuttles things, will be concluded this offseason.

      • neocec

        Yes makes sense. I just wonder if the Jays actually do sign Otani (pipe dream, I know), then will they have enough to sign this lad. I guess it would help if I learned the International bonus rules eh? haha

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    Good article Stoeten, and good news too. Small correction, George Bell wasn’t signed and developed by the Blue Jays out of Latin America, he was a Rule V that they snatched from the Philliles.

  • Joseph W Bats

    Yeah, they’ve done well in Latin America, I guess. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to care much about the talent in this country. Perhaps that’s changed…

  • Boy5

    Im awake for humanity im awake for honey dew. Im awake to seek the pagathon -you dont even know. Blankets keep me warm, inside from temp. How are you doing today and how many bones eaten

  • Matty

    There are other ways to spend and I’d prefer this route of acquiring high end amateur talent vs over paying aging big leaguers.

    Its basically the AA route. Spend on acquiring young assets and trade them for players and contracts that work within the team budget.

  • Ed Sprague Jr.'s kids

    per mlbtraderumors
    Heading onto the Blue Jays’ roster, per a club announcement, are righty Connor Greene, lefty Tom Pannone, first baseman Rowdy Tellez, and catchers Dan Jansen and Reese McGuire.

  • Teddy Ballgame

    Rule 5 moves, the likely planted JD rumour, and Joey Bats’ wedding! Lots of Jays news going down…anyone know of a good Jays blog where they would be discussed? 😉

    • The Humungus

      Yup. $1.5M in 2010.

      He only got $375,000. Mexican signees pay 75% of their bonus to their team to buy their free agency.

      Interesting note when I looked at this: The Jays wanted Luis Heredia, who was the top rated Mexican player and missed (he signed with the Pirates for $2.6M). In hindsight, this was extremely fortunate, because Heredia pitched in AA in 2017 as a 23 year old (he was ok, but walked a lot of guys; 5.9 per 9). Pretty sure the Jays loss was their own gain on that one.