St. Louis Cardinals: July 2nd International Signing Period Primer

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals are approaching the international signing period that starts on July 2nd, and it’s time to dive into what could be happening fairly soon.

The St. Louis Cardinals are about to enter into uncharted territories for this team. When I say uncharted territories, I mean that they are about to enter into an international signing period where they are prepared to go above the limits for their international signing period that starts tomorrow.

This is a topic that I have talked a lot about already. You can doubt it all you want but the St. Louis Cardinals are going to be spending money starting tomorrow. It has nothing to do with the “payroll muscle”, that is mocked mercilessly across the fanbase. It is all about timing for this team.

As you and I both know, there will be penalties for the St. Louis Cardinals and their involvement in the Chris Correa hacking scandal, and many believe draft picks and international bonus money may be affected when it comes to punishing the team. 

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With that said, there is some direct motivation to the Cardinals doing everything in their power to take advantage of the current international free agent market. Not to mention that there will be several previous high spending teams out of contention for the higher priced players including the Boston Red Sox who are in line to receive a significantly stiff penalty for their overspending.

Not only that, but rumors are that the rules will be changing as John Mozeliak mentioned at the Q & A with Cardinals’ Bloggers back in May. Add all of this together and the time is now for the Cardinals to become heavily involved in the spending for these international free agents.

While the Cardinals unfortunately won’t be able to lure the highly coveted Venezuelan SS Kevin Maitan, the drafting of Delvin Perez will offset that. However, the Cardinals will be looking to finalize a deal with Cuban CF Jonatan Machado whom we talked about during the offseason. Derrick Goold mentions that Ben Badler of Baseball America believes that the deal will include a bonus of around $2 Million. 

However, the Cardinals won’t be stopping there. Goold mentions that the Cardinals are already hot on the trail of Venezuelan power threat Victor Garcia who ranks #10 on Baseball America’s international prospects list. Out of all of the prospects the Cardinals are linked to, Garcia is definitely the most talented, as he possesses a pretty advanced power bat for his age and should be the best Venezuelan OF signed in the period.

Goold also mentions that the Cardinals have interest in the 35th ranked player in Carlos Soler out of the Dominican Republic. Goold mentions this about Soler “At 6-3, 165 pounds, Soler has the best outfield arm in the class, according to BA’s tool survey. Hitting is raw, and what he’ll bring to the plate will have to be determined and developed as he matures. If outfield doesn’t work, he has a lively arm that could steer him toward the mound.”

This is quite interesting as he certainly wouldn’t be the first Cardinals’ player to make the switch to pitching after being brought on as a position player, as Jason Motte did it and now Rowan Wick has made the switch. Not to mention that Carlos Martinez made the switch before he was signed by the Cardinals, so it is possible. 

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Derrick Goold mentions that there is some connection to the Cardinals and Mexican catcher Carlos Soto and Roy Garcia who Rob Rains mentions is a right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic.

Rains and Goold also mention that there is a linking to the Cardinals and the fifth best prospect in SS Diomdes Del Rio from Venezuela, but Goold mentions that there is apparently an agreement between Rio and the San Diego Padres.

Interestingly enough, Goold mentions that the Cardinals may not strike all of their deals early in the signing period much like they have in the past.

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Regardless of when and how the deals are made during this period, the St. Louis Cardinals will definitely be on the prowl during this period. With the influx of new prospects that reportedly had deals with the Red Sox now available, there could be some players come about that we don’t know about.

As always stick here throughout the period for all of the analysis and breaking news regarding the signings. We also want to know your opinion on these signings and whether you feel the Cardinals will be doing the right thing in taking advantage of the market this year.