Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Foreign Affairs

As you all undoubtedly know, Miguel Sano signed with the Twins for 3.15million, while, Mateo had his contract of 3.1 million voided (subject to legal dispute) due to inferior vision, and Vinicio had his contract of 2m voided by boston due to shoulder issues (CORRECTION: S/B LHP Payano who had his contract voided).

In other news that I had covered before, NPBT now has a source that suggests Rafael DePaula might be headed to Japan, whereas before, NPBT had not really considered it feasible previously. In that piece, I had noted an anonymous source that said Japan was Depaula's likely destination. So NPBT now confirms what we already know.

Here's a brief note on the kid:
DePaula, who has presented himself as being born April 1, 1992, has seen his fastball go from the mid- to high-80s last July to the low-90s and touching 94-95 mph this year, making him one of the most coveted players available since the end of last year's signing period.

But, hold on. This same dominican-based source suggested way back in May/June that TX was interested in Depaula. Post-July2 this source also noted that TX officials had been in contact with the family expressing an interest in signing him despite his suspension. In fact there still was a lot of interest in the flamethrower from many clubs - particularly NYY - despite his suspension and the risk of being unable to secure a visa from the consulate after signing (the bonus would be contingent on the visa however so the risk is mitigated). This same source also noted that there was lots of scuttlebutt about Depaula receiving a shortened suspension or a waiver or some sort due to some unknown mitigating factors. To date there has been no new scuttlebutt to this effect however there was movement on another front that might be relevant to his case.

Eliado Moronta's suspension was lifted this week with no accompanying explanation of why and how this could be done given that, to my knowledge, it sets a precedent. His age has now been established as 20 (21, 12/16/09) and he was caught lying and was supposed to be suspended for one year. He was all set to sign with Boston for about 2 million as a 5-tool outfielder until he got busted. The kid is a plus plus athlete but can't really be regarded as much of a prospect, making his baseball debut at the age of 21. TX was reported to have been really interested in this kid as well. And now, I hear tell that TX is a likely destination for Moronta though you would have to imagine it would be in the 300k range:

Moronta, who is 6-foot-1, 183 pounds, is 20 years old and turns 21 on December 16. He is an athletic righthanded hitter with plus-plus speed, flashing a good arm and raw power potential.

So how are the two suspensions related? Back at the time of the suspensions of both Moronta and Depaula - both announced on may 11 2009 - each was said to have mitigating circumstances that might result in a mitigated suspension. We have now seen that play out with Moronta and it would not be much of a leap to expect the same for Depaula before Xmas. In fact, once source claims Depaula's passport is legit and that the Dominincan Cedula office attested to its veracity to MLB. If that is the case, and he proves to be in the 20-22 range, while still throwing 93-95, expect TX to pursue him as a reliever for a reduced bonus.


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