White Sox agree to sign 17-year-old infielder Elijah Tatis for $500K

The White Sox are limited to signing international amateurs to bonuses of under $300,000 during the current international period. The organization signed 26 players in this current period in addition to trading excess bonus pool space for prospects. The new international signing period begins on July 2nd of this year and runs through June 15, 2020. Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes has reported that the club has come to an agreement with 17-year-old infielder Elijah Tatis for $500,000. The signing will become official on July 2nd and will be counted toward their 2019-2020 international bonus pool.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com has confirmed the signing of the 17-year-old Dominican. Sanchez notes that Tatis possesses a strong and accurate arm and has impressed scouts with the way the ball jumps off his bat, as well as his ability to square up fastballs. Tatis is eligible to sign with a club immediately but must wait until the next signing period becomes official in order to obtain this particular bonus amount from the White Sox. Elijah will likely begin his career in the Dominican Summer League with the White Sox’s affiliate. A club representative told Rojas that, “Elijah is more like his father than his brother as a player, we already signed him and we are scheduled to debut in professionalism with our subsidiary of the Dominican Summer League this year”.

Elijah Tatis Instagram post courtesy of our friends at Soxon35th

Marco Paddy signed Fernando Tatis Jr. back in 2015 for $700,000 and he was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2016 before playing affiliated ball for the White Sox. Paddy was confident that Fernando Jr. would become a major leaguer and was determined to sign him as detailed by Dennis Lin of The Athletic. Paddy has a relationship with the family and those bonds might have given him a leg up on the competition to sign Elijah. Fernando Tatis Sr. told Paddy years ago that the males in the Tatis family typically don’t start growing until age 17 or 18.

Nobody should be expecting Elijah Tatis to fly through the minor league system and turn into one of the very best prospects in the sport similar to his older brother. The signing shouldn’t be completely disregarded though either. The jokes write themselves at this point in regards to the White Sox’s organization signing family members of targeted pursuits but this one is a bit of a no-brainer. Elijah’s brother opened the season with the San Diego Padres and is on track to be one of the brightest young talents in major league baseball. Elijah’s father, Fernando, played 11 seasons in the big leagues and his grandfather played as a professional as well. $500,000 is a fairly significant amount on the international front but clubs should always be willing to bet on bloodlines at that price point.

The Chicago White Sox have nearly $5.4 million to spend on the international market in the upcoming period according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. They are rumored to be interested in signing 22-year-old Cuban infielder Yolbert Sanchez as well which we detailed earlier this month. Converting on both of these signings would leave the White Sox with somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million in usable international bonus pool space. It’s likely that the organization has agreements with multiple players and those unofficial agreements should come to light sometime over the next month.

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