The Nationals announced Monday the signing of four international players, two from Venezuela and two from the Dominican Republic, making their first splashes of the signing period in the overseas talent pool.
The Nationals signed right-handed pitcher Ramses Rosario and outfielder Aldrem Corredor from Venezuela, the team announced. And they signed outfielders Darryl Florentino and Luis Guzman from the Dominican Republic.
Rosarios, 16, stands at 6-foot-3 and has three pitches, according to the team. Corredor, 16, is a 6-foot-1 left-handed power hitter who projects as a corner outfielder.
Florentino, 16, is a 6-foot-2 outfielder known for his defense and strong arm, the team said. Guzman, 6-foot-1, projects as a leadoff hitter and a defensive outfielder. His age wasn’t immediately available.
None were listed in this year’s Baseball America’s Top 20 international prospects rankings. Prospects must be 16 years old to sign with a team.
As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to spend only $2.9 million on international free agents per year, starting today through June 15, 2013.
The Nationals haven’t made any high-profile, and expensive, international signings since the July 2, the opening of the signing period for overseas players. Nationals officials worked out two of the of the top 10 Dominican prospects, outfielder Gustavo Cabrera and shortstop Wendell Rijo. The San Francisco Giants signed Cabrera and Rijo signed with the Boston Red Sox, according to reports from Baseball America.
Nationals ownership has been hesitant to wade into the international market since the Smiley Gonzalez fiasco, when a Dominican player the Nationals signed for $1.4 million faked his age and identity. But the Nationals have rebuilt their Latin American operations with a new facility and a new staff, and the spending limit should lower the price to sign elite prospects.
Adam Kilgore contributed to this report.
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