Sunday, November 14, 2010

International Scene

SI's Melissa Segura seems to be covering LA again (via twitter at least).

She notes that there is another Dominican league opening up this month around the same time the DPL season opens. I'm not sure that it really sounds like a league proper as she says it will only feature players from the "top trainers." She offers no further info.

She also notes the formation of MLB's unfortunately named "Latin American Oversight Committee."

Just as an aside, there are some parroting the (evasive) front office meme from this summer that the 2010 j2 market was "weak" as a justification for the limited activity of King Preller this year. I think there is little objective documentation to support this uncritical claim because: (1.) that meme emerged when TX had zero money to sign any players and when the sale of the team was in question; (2.) now that all of the 7-figure caliber players have signed, the market really is thin so TX probably does have little interest (now); (3.) the current market has more 7 figure signs than last year though it might not have an elite hitter like Gary Sanchez (and maybe Sano, but there could also be an elite pitcher in Luis Heredia); (4.) to claim that TX/Preller has some keener insight into this year's class than the other ~10 clubs who are really active in the LA market and who also have excellent LA scouting depts, all of whom were as active this year as in previous years, is stupid; (5.) to date this class will comprise fewer 6 figure signs than in, well, a very long time; (6.) it is not clear that TX is willing to sign intl. free agents (especially hitters, and given there dismal track record, would you want them to?) for 2 million or more unless said player is considered a once in a decade type talent (like they thought Ynoa was) so it probably never mattered that that there were not any 3 million dollar players in this class, though there were more than a few 2.5 million dollar players.

It will be interesting to see if TX believes it worthwhile to be annual players in that area code of the market beginning next year now that they are flush with cash. I say that they haven't been players before for the most part but I bet they will be staring next year. They were never reported to be in on Sanchez, Sano or Mateo when all were heading toward 3m. And this is just a supposition, and, as you know, I like to make those on occasion, but I think TX got outbid for Pimentel last year _rather_ than stilted for the kid or stolen by Seattle; I bet they simply weren't interested in the kid (or anyone) for 2m. The only other possible exception besides Ynoa that I can think of (and Tazawa doesn't count, who was already semi-professional and began in AA) is Adys Portillo who the club might have gone 2m on but were outbid.

Richard Durrett or someone had an article up over the last few days that claimed TX had spent the monies from their j2 budget for the acquisition of big league players. If you remember, in late May or June, TX front office folk had made it clear that their j2 budget remained normal, as it an item in the 2010 budget. Of course, once the sale of the club dragged out, and the club needed additional monies to make big league player acquisitions , they had to raid the fund to accomplish their goals. So it should be clear to most, that TX was forced out of this year' j2 market by Tom Hicks and MLB and not because it was a "weak class" or other such nonsense.


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