Nine Pitchers and Eight Position Players Representing Six Different Countries Among Today’s Signees
ST. LOUIS, Mo., January 15, 2023 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today the signing of 17 free-agent players representing the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Cuba and the Bahamas from the first day of Major League Baseball’s international signing period for 2023. Nine pitchers, five outfielders, two shortstops, and one catcher were among the signees.
All of the players are being signed for the 2023 minor league season and are subject to MLB approval. A complete listing of the Cardinals international player signings is below:
|Hancel Almonte||CF||R/R||6-1||183||12/6/2005||17||Villa Mella, Dominican Republic|
|Andru Arthur||OF||L/L||6-1||172||11/1/2005||17||Nassau, Bahamas|
|Luis Atocha||C||L/R||6-0||184||12/14/2004||18||Guayaquil, Ecuador|
|Jarol Baez||RHP||R/R||6-2||187||10/21/2005||17||Bani, Dominican Republic|
|Emisael Carrera||RHP||R/R||6-0||200||2/22/2006||16||Chirgua, Carabobo, Venezuela|
|Xavier Cruz||RHP||R/R||6-2||153||9/4/2005||17||Santiago, Dominican Republic|
|Angel Gil||OF||L/L||6-3||174||12/12/2005||17||San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic|
|Reiner Lopez||RHP||R/R||6-8||196||4/11/2006||16||Caja Seca, Zulia, Venezuela||$500,000|
|Bernard Mack||LHP||L/L||6-2||160||10/24/2005||17||Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic|
|Ruben Menes||RHP||R/R||6-1||193||4/17/2002||20||Matanzas, Cuba||$425,000|
|Keiverson Ramirez||RHP||R/R||6-1||155||4/5/2006||16||Miranda, Venezuela|
|Daniel Rojas||SS||R/R||5-9||151||11/16/2005||17||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic|
|Stiveen Rojas||LHP||L/L||5-9||136||8/29/2006||16||Moca, Dominican Republic|
|Fernando Roquez||RF||L/R||6-1||181||9/1/2005||17||Santo Domingo Oeste, Dominican Republic|
|Bracewell Taveras||SS||S/R||6-0||162||6/5/2006||16||Higuey, Dominican Republic||$450,000|
|Giovanni Vargas||RHP||R/R||6-1||179||3/3/2006||16||Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico|
|Facundo Velasquez||CF||S/R||6-1||175||1/16/2006||16||Guarico, Venezuela|
— STL —
I’ve added a bonus column to the Cardinals table and will update their spending pool as I find it. Teams are assigned a pool based off slot values; the pool is impacted by things like free agent signings (if they had a qualifying offer), team revenue (teams that receive competitive balance draft picks get a higher pool), and luxury tax penalties. Team can also trade slot amounts; the Cardinals have done that in the past, receiving low level prospects back. Any free agent signed for under $10,000 does not count against the bonus pool.
|Signed||Bonus Pool||Bonus Confirmed||% of Pool Used|
Lopez is the prize prospect; he ranked #36 on MLB’s Top 50 International Prospects. Already 6’8″ at 16 years old, Lopez has a fastball that sits 88-93 and projects to get fast as he fills out. He’s got an above average changeup that’s his second pitch, a slider that’s potential above average, and a curve. As of right now, he projected as a starter; based off his pitches and frame, his ceiling is a #1 starter, mid-range is a #3-4 starter, and his floor is middle reliever. Based off his projections, he could crack the top 15 Cardinal prospects.