The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced Major League Baseball to make a slew of changes last season. In addition to implementing an abbreviated 60-game schedule, the 2020-21 international signing period was pushed back to a later date.
The period was supposed to begin at its usual date of July 2, but instead started on Jan. 15, 2021. The Los Angeles Dodgers typically are active at the start of a new international period, most recently signing Luis Rodriguez and Kristian Cardozo in 2019.
In the weeks leading up to the 2020-21 international signing period, L.A. was rumored to have been making progress with Venezuelan catcher Jesus Galiz. He initially was believed to have reached an agreement with the New York Yankees but evidently changed his mind.
Now on the first day of the 2020-21 international signing period, the Dodgers not only have a deal in place with Galiz but also received a commitment from Venezuelan shortstop Wilman Diaz, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:
According to industry sources, the club has an agreement with shortstop Wilman Diaz, No. 3 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects List, and catcher Jesus Galiz, No. 8, both of Venezuela.
Diaz not only is MLB Pipeline’s third-ranked prospect, but additionally the highest-ranked teenager of his class. The 17-year-old’s best tool is hitting, having received a 60 on the 20-80 grading scale.
Diaz also is a capable defender at shortstop and has gotten rave reviews about his arm strength. Galiz, meanwhile, is a year younger than Diaz and considered the top catcher of his class.
A former middle infielder, Galiz has a strong arm and still displays the athleticism he once showed at shortstop. He also has a swing that has been described as compact and can drive the ball to all fields.
The signing of Galiz further bolsters the Dodgers’ organizational depth at catcher. It’s a group that includes the likes of Will Smith, Austin Barnes, Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya.
Galiz recently has been working out with Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who also was an international signing out of Venezuela.
Dodgers international bonus pool money
The Dodgers entered the 2020-21 international signing period with $5,348,100 in pool money, which puts them alongside the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, among others, at about middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league.
Unlike previous years, teams are not allowed to trade bonus pool space.
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