Nationals agreed to terms with seven international free agents
The Nationals have agreed to terms with seven international free agents Tuesday.
This group is a smaller class compared with many other recent seasons, but a group that Nats Vice President of International Operations Johnny DiPuglia was excited about.
After spending the past two years using its international slot money to fill out depth, Washington targeted a few players and landed one of the top pitchers from Venezuela.
The group was headlined by right-handed Andry Lara, No. 16 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects list, who signed a deal worth $1.25 million, sources told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.
”It’s a good class”, DiPuglia said during a phone interview on Tuesday. ”There’s athleticism, right-handed pitching, left-handed pitching, … It’s not like the normal (class) where we sign a lot of kids. We planned it that way the last two years, where we signed a high number (of prospects) to get away with signing ( fewer ) this year.”
Lara profiles as a top-of-the-rotation starter, with a fastball that hovers around 92-94 mph; he has reached as high as 96 mph with it. Lara’s two fastball might be his best pitch yet, but he also throws a power breaking ball. He also feels good about his changeup, which features some sink. Also, he knows how to attack hitters, and with some deception in his delivery and an approach.
The Nationals also landed outfielder Roismar Quintana from Venezuela in a deal that is reportedly worth $820,000, according to Sanchez. Quintana is a physical hitter who hits the ball hard. He has played center field, and the ball jumps off his bat, says DiPulgia.
Shortstop Juan Garcia from Dominican Republic will get a chance to stick at the position because he is a plus runner, who ran 6.4 in the 40-yard dash.
The remaining players the Nats have signed include left-hander Pablo Aldonis, shortstop Dawry Martinez and outfielder Eliesel Santana from Dominican Republic, and left-hander Franklin Marquez from Venezuela. Aldonis signed $1,000,000 and Martinez singed a $600,000 bonus.
Welcome boys to Washington!