UPDATE 2:45 PM: The Pirates officially announced the move. Rene Gayo's statement on De La Cruz:
"We are very excited to have signed Julio Delacruz who is, in our estimation, the best pure hitter available in Latin America this season,” said Director of Latin American Scouting Rene Gayo. “Julio is a hitter with great rhythm and contact ability, with the knack for staying back and hitting the breaking ball along with using the whole field. He is a great addition to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and I want to publicly congratulate our new Scouting Supervisor Juan Mercado and our entire staff for identifying and delivering this type of talent."
UPDATE 12:34 PM: De La Cruz signed for $700,000, Pirates Prospects has learned.
Monday 11:55 AM: The Pittsburgh Pirates will sign international third baseman Julio de la Cruz today, according to Rob Biertempfel. The move isn't a big surprise, as the Pirates have been linked to De La Cruz since May.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.