As international signing day has come and gone, the San Diego Padres have strengthened their organization by looking abroad.
After a historic 2016 international signing period for the San Diego Padres, the organization looked to build on their many foreign prospects this season.
Doing so to the tune of 34 international acquisitions, it is safe to say that general manager A.J. Preller and company did what they could.
The signings were mostly focused in Latin America, which is not uncommon. The organization also strategically set themselves up to have an overabundance of pitching in their minor league system, as well as some extra shortstops. These positions, where they lack organizational depth, were top priorities for both the draft and this signing period.
Most notably, as mentioned on mlb.com, the Padres brought in Frank Lopez, a right-hander from Venezuela, and southpaw Manuel Partida out of Mexico. At the shortstop position, the two additions are Yerry Landinez, also from Venezuela, and Yeison Santana from the Dominican Republic.
International signing day, July 2nd, was not as busy for San Diego this season thanks to the implementation of new Collective Bargaining Agreement regulations. One of these regulations which impacts several clubs is the restriction of spending on individual signings. The Padres, along with ten other organizations, can not sign any player for more than $300,00 since they are in the maximum spending penalty this season.
This, as well as the total spending limit, makes these signings more difficult for the Padres, since they can’t attract the biggest names. Since none of the top thirty international players signed this season were signed for less than $1 million, San Diego never had a chance to get the players with the most potential.
More from Friars on Base
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
Due to this, Preller and the scouting team had the very difficult job of finding international talent which may have flown under the radar. Doing this requires going all over the world, including countries not traditionally known for producing elite baseball talent such as Australia or European nations.
International signings may not have as much success as high draft picks historically, but players brought in via these types of signings can and have made it to the major leagues and contributed. The most recent success story is that of Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins. The young power hitter always had potential, but he needed to overcome various bizarre obstacles, including questions over his age. Regardless, the 24-year-old out of the Dominican Republic has turned himself into a star at the highest level.
Much like the Twins and Sano, the Padres are hoping that some of these signings they pulled the trigger on can end up helping the major league club in the long run. While no names really jump out as top prospects, these additions provide something San Diego desperately needs right now, organizational depth.