As predicted by multiple sources, the Nats did indeed sign 17-y.o. top IFA (#2 BA, #5 MLB) Armando Cruz to a $3.9M bonus, along with ten others:
- RHP Gustavo Rivas, 17 (Ven.) — $450K
- OF Enmanuel Ramirez, 17 (D.R.) — $200K
- RHP Doimil Perez, 17 (D.R.) — $200K
- RHP Genderson Zapata, 16 (Ven.) — $200K
- LHP Gabriel Agostini, 16 (Ven.) — $170K
- OF Jean Estrada, 16 (Ven.) — $90K
- OF Cristian Batista, 16 (D.R.) — $75K
- SS Winder Diaz, 18 (D.R.) — $20K
- C Edward de la Cruz, 18 (D.R.) — $10K
- RHP Jeffem Leon, 18 (Aruba) — $10K
With the obsession with how much money was paid out—never mind that current Nats on the 40-man roster signed for much, much less, including Juan Soto ($1.3M, 2015), Luis García ($1.3M, 2016), and Victor Robles ($225K, 2013)—that $3.9M ties with Yasel Antuna (2016) for the most ever paid out by the Nationals. As young Mr. Dougherty noted in the previous link, “That’s a product of a more competitive market and the club’s excitement for Cruz.”
The Nats were in the middle tier of the 2020-21 International Bonus pool along with 11 other teams at $5,348,100 and a quick look at the distribution of their 11 signs shows a familiar pattern: lots of arms (F.P. Santangelo says they have two) and middle infielders, along with some Venezuelans – an impressive haul given the outgoing regim…er administration’s animus towards the South American country. And of course, a couple of older prospects the Nats hope to strike gold with a la Wilmer Difo (2010 at the age of 18).
Whether any of these players will appear stateside – setting aside whether the complex leagues will operate in 2021, natch – depends on how MLB implements its 180-player limit for each organization. It’s believed that the DSL will not count towards that number, which could lead to multiple teams in the (currently known as) GCL and AZL.
If so, we may see one or two of these guys this year. If not, one would have to think that the guys that would have been on the NYPL roster will keep the DSL guys down.
Just another something to consider while we while away the winter and hope for the minors to restart.