Along with a shortened 2020 regular season schedule, another change MLB experienced due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was delaying the start of the 2020-21 international signing period to Jan. 15 of next year.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers have drafted well and used their financial might in free agency, they also have flourished with international signings. L.A. was aggressive on the first day of the 2019-20 international signing period, inking the likes of Luis Rodriguez and Kristian Cardozo.
That period closed Oct. 15, and has been followed by three months in which signings are not allowed. However, the Dodgers nonetheless are said to be making progress with Venezuelan catcher Jesus Galiz, who had been a longtime lean to the New York Yankees, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
The Dodgers are close to signing 16-year-old Venezuelan catcher Jesus Galiz, per sources. Galiz is MLB Pipeline's 7th-ranked international prospect and the top-ranked catcher. The Yankees had been the favorites to sign him, but Galiz recently changed his mind.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) November 18, 2020
Galiz is ranked the seventh-best international prospect by MLB Pipeline and 25th overall by Baseball America. Both outlets additionally consider the 16-year-old the top catcher of the class.
Galiz had visions of becoming a middle infielder and only in recent years switched to working behind the plate. His soft hands and quick feet have translated well, and Galiz’s swing is compact and he’s able to hit the ball to all fields.
Signing another highly-touted catcher would further bolster the Dodgers’ organizational depth at the position. Will Smith appears to have cemented himself as their everyday catcher, and Austin Barnes is a superb backup.
Behind them are Keibert Ruiz, who made his MLB debut this season; as well as Diego Cartaya, who at only 17 years old is already projected as having the best future of the bunch.
Dodgers international bonus pool money
The Dodgers have $5,348,100 in pool money for the 2020-21 international signing period, 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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