Archive for IFAs

adis portillo update

Posted in baseball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2008 by AccountKiller

Just 5 years ago, Adis Portillo was pitching in the Little League World Series (pictured above). Now he’s signed with the San Diego Padres, collecting a sweet $2 million dollar bonus.

The right-handed pitcher is among the most complete pitchers in Latin America, and was the most sought after international free agent pitcher once Inoa was inked to a deal. Portillo can already throw about 93 mph, and that velocity is likely to improve once he matures and is put into a major league throwing program.

Adis Portillo was one of several big-time IFAs landed by the Padres this week, who also acquired SS Alvaro Aristy, OF Luis Domoromo (great name!), RHP Elvin Tavarez, and OF Corey Adamson of Australia. This is nothing short of a coup for the Padres organization.

I also believe there is a new trend in baseball. Teams avoided signability cases in the draft this past June, and clubs that are not normally thought of to be big spenders are opening their wallets to young IFAs now. I think we won’t see many multi-year mega-contracts being offered to MLB Free Agents this off-season. There seems to be a craze of building up the farm system to stockpile talented prospects, and buy-out a portion of their arbitration eligible years for the successful ones that begin to contribute at the Major League level. Examples of this include: Robinson Cano, Grady Sizemore, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, and several others.

It will be interesting to see if team’s let their superstars walk in their contract years in order to acquire compensation draft picks, that is if they can’t find a deal that lands enough prospects in exchange.

baby i got my money(ball)

Posted in baseball, Sports with tags , , , , , on July 1, 2008 by AccountKiller

Still in disbelief that Billy Beane would give a 16 year old International pitching prospect nearly $4.5 million, but if the rumored reports are true, that’s exactly what he did in landing Michel Inoa. The IFA signing period is a dirty business though, so I won’t believe it until it is officially announced by the Athletics in a press conference.

The IFA attention now falls on the other prizes available, most notably two youngsters out of Venezuela: OF Yorman Rodriguez and RHP Adis Portillo. Open those wallets!

the 6 million dollar man, i mean boy

Posted in baseball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by AccountKiller

If you pay any attention to baseball international free agency, you already know about the mysterious Michel Inoa, the hottest international pitcher outside of Yu Darvish (who is pitching in Japan, so he isn’t a free agent and must be posted).

Iona is just 16 years old (can we see a birth certificate?) yet already sports a 94 mph fastball, with a slightly above average curveball and a decent changeup. Sounds okay right? Well what makes him special is his projectable body: 6’7″, 205 lbs… remember this kid is only 16! Assuming he is actually 16, this is a special player.

While some International Free Agents (IFAs) remain secrets like Jose Reyes, Michel Inoa is anything but; he’s already been evaluated by all 30 major league clubs and is asking for a contract of at least $4 million, with some reports saying $6 million. Wow. That type of contract would destroy anything ever given to an IFA; sorry Wily Mo!

Reports are that the Oakland Athletics are the front-runners in the Inoa sweepstakes, with the Rangers and Reds joining in on the bidding war. I find it hard to believe that the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Mets would back down from the kid’s price tag. I find it equally hard to believe that the A’s would go after Inoa so feverishly, as their organization’s philosophy is to stay away from high school pitchers. Why would Beane throw serious dough at a 16 year old, yet throw a temper-tantrum when they drafted Jeremy Bonderman out of HS.

The IFA signing period begins July 2nd, stay tuned. In the meantime, anyone ever know what became of Edward Salcedo?