The Chicago White Sox are in the second year of a two-year penalty phase in regards to signing international amateur free agents. Due to going over their pool and winning the Luis Robert sweepstakes in 2016, their signings will be limited to a bonus amount of up to $300K per player. Today was the start of the current period in which international prospects between the ages of 16 and 24 could come to official agreements with major league clubs. The White Sox and International Director Marco Paddy have been active on the international front in recent years and many of their signings have made it to full season ball.
The organization was limited last year as well and they came away with five signings of note that can be detailed in our 2018 International Preview that was released last week. Of those five signings, Cuban infielder Camilo Quinteiro and SS Sydney Pimentel were $300K signings and they are playing at a stateside affiliate in the AZL already. Aruban infielder Jerrick Francees and Venezuelan catcher Jefferson Mendoza are with the White Sox affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. All of these players were given bonuses of $300K during the last period and the Sox will be locking up players a similar fashion this year.
Source: White Sox agree with 3B Bryan Ramos, SS Harold Diaz of Cuba along with catcher Luis Pineda for $300K. Add a $250,000 deal with first baseman Alberto Lemay Bernal of Cuba and shortstop Anthony Espinosa and it’s a busy day. @MLBPipeline. https://t.co/ONmfiYF86C
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) July 2, 2018
- Bryan Ramos 3B Cuba ($300K)
- Harold Diaz SS Cuba ($300K)
- Luis Pineda C Venezuela ($300K)
- Anthony Espinoza SS Venezuela ($200K)
- Alberto Lemay Bernal 1B ($250K)
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 2, 2018
Harold Diaz SS
Diaz is a 6'0", 180 pound shortstop from Cuba. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported that his bonus will be for $300K. The White Sox will be sending Diaz to their affiliate in the Dominican Summer League to play during this current season.
Diaz will spend the 2018 season with the Dominican Summer League White Sox. The other three players are signed for 2019.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 2, 2018
Anthony Espinoza SS
The Anthony Espinoza signing hasn't been officially announced by the White Sox but Badler and Sanchez have each reported the new addition. Badler called the Venezuelan a "quick-twitch shortstop" while Sanchez called him a "slick fielder". He will reportedly receive a bonus of $200K. The 16-year-old will likely join the White Sox club in the DSL for next season.
Video of Espinoza can be found at Ben Badler's Instagram page here.
The Athletic's James Fegan confirmed the signing.
White Sox officially announce Venezuelan shortstop Anthony Espinoza is among their July 2 signings. His contract begins with the 2019 season
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) July 3, 2018
Alberto Lemay Bernal 1B/DH
Bernal was called a catcher by Badler and a first baseman by Sanchez but was announced as a 1B/DH by the White Sox. His bonus amount is for $250K and Sanchez calls him a "1B with power". He hails from the country of Cuba. The Pelota Cubana Journal wrote a story about Bernal's signing with Chicago as well.
Bryan Ramos 3B
Ramos is the 3rd Cuban signing for the Sox during this period. His bonus is for $300K according to Jesse Sanchez. Sanchez calls him a "power hitting third baseman".
Luis Pineda C
Pineda is a hard-hitting catcher from Venezuela according to Sanchez. His bonus is reportedly for $300K and he will likely join the White Sox DSL affiliate for the 2019 season.
The #WhiteSox today announced the following international signings: Cuba natives 1B/DH Alberto Bernal, INF Harold Diaz and INF Bryan Ramos, and Venezuela native C Luis Pineda.
— #VoteAbreu (@whitesox) July 2, 2018
None of the signings are listed on Badler's top 50 prospect list for J2 but Sanchez noted that the White Sox added "pop" to their system and called their signings "quite a haul". Miguel Tejada Jr. was linked to the White Sox throughout the process but he will be signing with another club according to Badler.
Signing Pool Status
It will be interesting to see how the White Sox use the rest of their international capital going forward. The 2018-2019 period runs through June 15th, 2019. The Chicago White Sox have a total of $4,983,500 to spend during the new international period. With the reported signings, they spent a total of $1.35 million on the five players. That leaves the organization with just over $3.6 million still available to use. In a similar fashion to last year, it would be very likely to see the Sox trade away much of their bonus pool to get some help injected into their farm system immediately.
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