The Los Angeles Dodgers routinely boast one of baseball’s best farm systems due in part to excellent scouting and drafting. But another method to the club’s success with development has been their aggressiveness with pursuing international free agents.
The Dodgers have added the likes of Yasiel Puig, Julio Urias, Yadier Alvarez and Yusniel Diaz in recent years — the latter of which was the centerpiece to acquire shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in July.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Dodgers have further bolstered their Minor League pipeline with another Cuban talent in the form of 17-year-old right-hander Osvani Gutierrez:
After pitching in Major League Baseball’s first Trainer Partnership Program showcase on Sept. 18 in the Dominican Republic, Cuban righthander Osvani Gutierrez has signed with the Dodgers for $600,000.
Gutierrez isn’t considered a top international prospect, but has shown advanced command for his age with a fastball that reportedly reaches 93 mph. As a 15-year-old, he posted a solid 2.16 ERA in 75 innings with 60 strikeouts against 29 walks in Cuba’s 15U national league.
The Dodgers entered the 2018-19 international signing period with a bonus pool of just under $5 million. In addition to Gutierrez, the club has signed top catching prospect Diego Cartaya as well as Dominican Republic right-hander Jerming Rosario.
After the trio of signings, the Dodgers still have just over $2 million in available spending funds for additional free agents. That figure realistically keeps them in play to ink top Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. Though, the Orioles and Miami Marlins are currently viewed as the favorites to land the brothers.
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