Today is the day that the bidding begins on top Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia. According to Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates are expected to reach an agreement today with Veracruz, the Mexican League team that owns Heredia’s rights.
We’ve heard that the Pirates are favorites for Heredia, although that means very little until the player is actually signed. Dejan reported a few days ago that the Pirates were strong favorites, and detailed all of the relationships the Pirates have with Heredia, his family, and Veracruz.
The signing of Heredia would be a huge boost to the Pirates’ farm system, especially with the recent signings of Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie. Signing Heredia would give the Pirates three of the top young pitchers in the game. Heredia just turned 16 on Monday, and is 6′ 4″ with four potential “plus” pitches.
The official bidding began at midnight today, although back on July 2nd it was reported that the Pirates had an unofficial opening bid of $2.5 M, with Toronto bidding $2.8 M. It’s possible that Heredia, if he does indeed get signed by the Pirates tomorrow, will receive $3 M or more.
UPDATE 7:38 AM: Dejan reports that the Pirates have signed Heredia for $2.6 M, which is an international record, shattering the previous record of $400,000 given to Exicardo Cayonez. Check out the link to the signing news to get a good scouting report on Heredia from Dejan. Heredia is expected to go to Bradenton, rather than the Dominican Academy, which probably means he will start off in the Gulf Coast League next year. Overall, the Pirates spent $11.35 M on Taillon, Allie, and Heredia over the last few days.
UPDATE 11:38 AM: According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Heredia’s bonus is tied as the fifth largest bonus in MLB history for international prospects. Heredia is tied with Ariel Orvando, who Houston signed this year, and $200,000 behind Adonis Cardona, who holds the biggest 2010 bonus so far after signing with Toronto this year.