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Source: Cuban pitcher, 19, gets record bonus

12: 21 PM ET

  • Kiley McDanielESPN MLB Insider

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    • ESPN MLB Insider
    • Kiley McDaniel covers MLB prospects, the MLB Draft and much more, including trades and free agency.
    • Spent some time working for four MLB teams.

Cuban right-hander Luis Morales, a coveted 19-year-old prospect who’s likely to demand a record-breaking sum for a pitcher from the international bonus pool, will undoubtedly be permitted sign having an MLB team on Sept. 7 after being declared a free of charge agent on Thursday, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The Oakland Athletics are believed heavy favorites to sign Morales, who peaked at 97 or 99 mph in a variety of workouts for MLB teams. He defected from the Cuban U-23 team in Mexico City in September 2021.

Morales, who held open showcases for teams in January and April in Mexico City, includes a breaking ball that projects to be above average, but his changeup is really a clear third pitch and his command still comes and goes, as is common for pitchers with that sort of velocity as an adolescent.

Since the majority of the pool profit this current international signing period has been spent, Morales is likely to sign once the next period begins on Jan. 15.

The largest bonus directed at a pitcher because the international bonus pool was capped was to Cuban right-hander Sandy Gaston, who was simply given $2.61 million by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018. Shohei Ohtani received $2.315 million from the LA Angels in Dec. 2017.

Oakland has already established a technique of spending near the top of the international market lately. If the Athletics can land Morales needlessly to say, it could have echoes of a bold move from the team’s past. Before the salary cap, the A’s set a global bonus record in 2008 by signing Dominican right-hander Michael Ynoa to a $4.25 million bonus.

Overall international pool amounts for every MLB team range between approximately $4.5 million to just over $6 million every year. The best bonus for a pitcher in this current period was $1.7 million to Jarlin Susana, an 18-year-old right-hander who has recently hit triple digits along with his fastball and was contained in the Juan Soto trade package from NORTH PARK to Washington.

Pitchers have emerged as a much bigger risk to teams as of this age, with the very best players usually signing at age 16. The very best 15 bonuses in today’s international signing period have all attended position players, and a minumum of one position player has received at the very least $4 million every year under this technique.

Beisbolfr.com first reported the news headlines of Morales being declared a free of charge agent by MLB.

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