St. Louis Cardinals sign Alvaro Seijas and Raffy Ozuna
Yesterday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they had come to terms with five international free agents on the first day that they could do so.
This was headlined by two sixteen year old players, Venezuelan RHP Alvaro Seijas and Dominican SS Raffy Ozuna.
Seijas is 6’1″ 175 lbs and has pretty good stuff. He commands a mid to low 90s fastball and a curveball that some believe could be pretty lethal. Seijas was believed by many to be the class’ best pitcher. Seijas definitely will be a player to watch over the next few years.
Seijas signed for a bonus of $762,000.
Ozuna comes in at 6’2′ 185 lbs and is a switch hitter. Ozuna has shown to possess gap power at the moment but according to most his skill is shown primarily in the field where he possesses good ability for his age. A strong arm and range mean that Ozuna will be able to most likely stick at the position throughout his career.
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Again, Ozuna is another player to keep an eye on for sure given his size, offensive versatility, and defensive prowess at such a young age. I have a feeling we will be hearing more from Ozuna throughout the next few years.
Ozuna signed for a bonus of $600,000.
To put this in perspective for you as far as bonuses go, Ozuna and Seijas both got 3rd/4th round bonus money at the age of 16. Much younger than any of the Cardinals MLB Draftees. The two signings together accounted for $1,362,000 of the $2,038,200 the Cardinals were slotted for their international bonuses.
In addition to Ozuna and Seijas the Cardinals picked up three more international free agents.
Venezuelans Anthony Trompiz (RHP 6’3″ 214 lbs), Brian Pirela (RHP 6’2″ 208 lbs), and Dominican RHP Noel Dejesus (6’2″ 181 lbs) rounded out the signings for the Cardinals’ for the day.
There’s not much out there on these three yet. So, we aren’t sure as to what their bonus numbers look like. Considering these three aren’t major signings the Cardinals may have avoided a penalty for going over their slot value.
It is signings like these that show you why the Cardinals have generally avoided the Cuban market. The players are cheaper coming from the DR and Venezuela and you have a little more control on the development of the player than you do with some more experienced Cuban players.
These players will likely all start out playing for the Cardinals’ Dominical Summer League team. Depending on their progression, the younger ones may stay for a year or two and then come state side to play for the Cardinals’ short season rookie clubs. Following the same path of international signings like Oscar Taveras, Carlos Martinez, and Alex Reyes.