Pirates Add Four More International Players as Signing Deadline Approaches

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed three more international players on Wednesday, as the June 15th signing deadline approaches. They have now signed a total of 73 players since July 2nd.

Teams are allowed to sign amateur players up until June 15th each year on the international side. These last three signings are part of the 2017-18 international signing class for the Pirates. After Friday night, there won’t be anymore signings until the 2018-19 international signing period starts on July 2nd.

The players signed yesterday are right-handed pitchers Enrique Santana and Domingo Gonzalez, and switch-hitting infielder Bladimir Susana. Both Gonzalez and Susana are 18 years old, while Santana is 20 years old. They will be eligible to join either of the DSL affiliates immediately.

It’s likely that these were low bonus players based on what we know about the bonus pool for the Pirates. Teams can sign players for $10,000 or under and it doesn’t count against their pool. The Pirates have maxed out their bonus pool at the deadline in the past, most notably in 2015 when they gave their final $185,000 to pitchers Randy Jimenez ($85,000) and Wilmer Contreras ($100,000) on June 15th.  If there was anything left from their original $5.75 M pool this year, they likely spent it on these players.

We will know by Saturday if this wraps up this signing class, which is by far the largest one since this site started covering the team.

UPDATE 4:50 PM: Make that a fourth player added as the deadline approaches. Today they signed 18-year-old right-handed pitcher Antonio Gonzalez.