Blog Entry

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

Posted on: July 2, 2011 3:00 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 3:14 pm
By Evan Brunell

A report from ESPN Dallas has the Rangers shattering a record to sign Dominican Republic outfielder Nomar Mazara on Friday, the first day international prospects are eligible to sign provided they reach age 17 by Sept. 1. The 16-year-old Mazara is reportedly due a bonus of over $5 million, which would outstrip the Athletics' payout of $4.25 million to starting pitcher Michael Ynoa back in 2008.

The team also reportedly added anothing 16-year-old Dominican outfielder by the name of Ronald Guzman for $3.5 million, Sports Illustrated reveals.

Mazara, who also drew interest from the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Athletics, is already 6-foor-5 and hits from the left side of the plate, a trait that Guzman shares. GM Jon Daniels refused to confirm any signings, but did speak to the Rangers' overall approach to international free agency, which is not governed by the same rules as the amateur draft. Any player who does not reside in the United States or territories is free to sign with any team of his choosing.

"It's fair to say we planned to be active in the international amateur market this year, consistent with our goal of adding the best talent possible in all arenas," Daniels said. "Our scouts have put in a lot of work to put us in position to do just that, and ownership continues to support us. Can't say enough about both groups' commitment to seeing us win."

The Royals also shelled out quite a bit of money Friday, handing $3.1 million to Elier Hernandez, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic.

Baseball America reports that Hernandez's bonus is the third-highest of any international amateur player excepting Cuban defectors and Mazara's reported bonus. Hernandez ranks behind Ynoa and Miguel Sano, who earned $3.15 million from the Twins in 2009. It is also the highest bonus for any Dominican outfielder, Mazara excluded.

BA says Hernandez was one of the best prospects coing out of Latin America along with Mazara and Guzman, and "has a major league body and explosive bat speed from the right side."

Here are the other international free-agent signings that occurred, with links to the Baseball America story should you want to learn more:
  • Cubs sign shortstop Enrique Acosta for $1.1 million. (Link)
  • Mariners sign outfielder Helsin Martinez for $2 million. (Link)
  • Mets sign pitcher Luis Mateo for $150,000. Mateo was a hot name three years ago, but had deals nullified with the Giants and Padres and later served a year's suspension for lying about his age. (Link)
  • Pirates sign outfielder Harold Ramirez for $1.05 million. (Link)
  • Padres sign catcher Jose Ruiz for $1.1 million. (Link)
  • Tigers sign third baseman Adelin Santa for $750,000. (Link)
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:36 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:13 am

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

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Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: July 3, 2011 11:20 am

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

As a season ticket holder for the Rangers, I cannot wait for 10 years from now when this kid stumbles through Spanglish as lame reporters line up to interview him after he sends a record amount of balls through the jet stream in Arlington. Gotta love the good ol' game of Beisbol. 

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2011 9:44 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

I'd say the Rangers must be really committed to this kid or they wouldn't give him 5 million. Of course, everyone else who says that's a lot of money to spend on a kid who hasn't done a thing in the majors or the minors. 

No, it's not a lot of money... it's nothing actually.   Think about it....  The Rangers payroll is over 90 million dollars for this season, 13th in MLB.  Eleven teams have payrolls higher then 100 million dollars, 7 over 120 and 3 over 150 million.  So really, how bad can a one time 5 million dollar bonus hurt the Rangers?  If he becomes what they believe he's going to become,  terrific.  If not, it barely represents 6 percent of this years payroll and basically nothing for next year and beyond..... 5 million dollars may be a lot of money for us, but for MLB teams it's really not a big deal.  Low risk, very high reward. 

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2011 9:16 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

Where is the oversight?

MLB has an office in Santo Domingo which works closely with the Commissoner's Office. Though admitedly, it is extremely difficult to police all of the abuses that happen in a country like the Dominican Republic or some of the other places where MLB does business.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2011 7:25 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

I don't blame the kids. Many of their parents would have to work 100 lifetimes just to earn these signing bonuses. If the cost is pumping your body full of steroids and doctoring your birth certificate, why wouldn't you if you were in their sandals?

Heck, our own president may have a fake birth certificate and look where it got him.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:51 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

I'd say the Rangers must be really committed to this kid or they wouldn't give him 5 million. Of course, everyone else who says that's a lot of money to spend on a kid who hasn't done a thing in the majors or the minors. However, it's pretty much a crap shoot in any don't really know how any player will do if he hasn't played in a single professional game. They do it in football and basketball, and baseball is no different.

I really hope it works out for the Rangers...they are trying to build for the future.

Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:30 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

$5 million dollar bonus check for doing absolutely NOTHING????  This is what is wrong with the sports world of today.  He could never play a day in the majors and be set for life.

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:03 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

To much money to give to kids who has done nothing in the pros

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 4:55 pm

Rangers ink Dominican prospect for $5 million

"The Dominican Summer League had the highest rate of positive drug tests in baseball and that teams had awarded multimillion-dollar signing bonuses to players who were, in fact, much older than they claimed to be.

Baseball is especially suspicious of the role of independent agents in the country, called , who train young players until they can sign as professionals at age 16. Buscones often demand half of players’ signing bonuses from teams and have been known to advise players on taking performance-enhancing drugs as well as lying about their age in order to be more attractive prospects.

Baseball officials used the extreme measure of subjecting unsigned last year to make certain they were not lying about their ages — a practice they have since halted in the wake of harsh public criticism."

Michael Schimidt NY TIMES

Sounds like all is not what it seems to be. There is a lot of shadyness and underhanded dealings going on between Major League Baseball and Dominican Republic baseball. There are scores of unscrupulous pseudo-agents eyeballing talent as young as 11 years old in the poverty stricken areas on the Dominican Republic looking for self-enrichment by latching on to a promising prospect. These "buscones" adopt these kids much like a surrogate parent and exploit them to the hilt. It's like feeding the monster that is MLB just like feeding the drugs to the demands of a drug addled American society.

Where is the oversight? Presently, there is none. Commisioner Bud Selig already turned a blind eye to the steroid era of baseball and now is doing the same by ignoring this dirty little secret about young kids under servitude to shady independent agents bent on profiterring from the game of baseball by whatever means necessary.

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