Pirates Sign Nine International Players, Including Three Top Targets

The first international signing for the Pittsburgh Pirates is in, as the July 2nd signing period is now open for business. Jesse Sanchez from MLB.com, who will be breaking most of the announced signings today, reports that the Pirates have signed infielder Luis Tejada out of the Dominican Republic for a $500,000 bonus. The Pirates have a $5,504,500 bonus pool to work with from today until June 15th.

Here’s a video on the 16-year-old Tejada, whose birthday is off by exactly one year in the video intro.

Check back often today, as we will announce any signings that come up throughout the day.

Here’s the 2018 International Signing Tracker. Bookmark this page, as it will be updated any time from now until next June 15th when the Pirates sign an international amateur free agent.

UPDATE: Baseball America reports that the Pirates have agreed to deals with outfielder Sergio Campana, outfielder Osvaldo Gavilan and left-handed pitcher Adrian Mendez. All three players were mentioned in BA’s signing period preview, along with shortstop Maikol Escotto, who is expected to sign today as well. No bonuses yet on these players, but they should come out today for three of them. Mendez is from Venezuela and bonuses from there aren’t announced anymore to protect the players and their families. Link just above has highlights and reports on all four players.

UPDATE #2: Two more players have been signed and two bonuses have come out, all courtesy of Jesse Sanchez. The Pirates signed infielders Daniel Lopez ($400,000) and Juan Jerez ($380,000). Also, Sergio Campana received $500,000 and Osvaldo Gavilan got $700,000, so he’s the top known signing so far. More info as we get it. The tracker has been updated.

Here’s an eight minute video on Jerez

UPDATE#3: This is a brief update. Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Antonio Gonzalez has also been signed according to BA. (UPDATE: This turned out to be an error on their part, as Gonzalez was signed in June and not part of the July 2nd class)

Again as a reminder, we won’t hear updates on bonuses from Venezuela, but between him and Mendez being first day signings, the Pirates have likely spent over half of their bonus pool already. Also like to remind people that we announced back in March that the Pirates hired respected Venezuelan scout Emilio Carrasquel, who signed Felix Hernandez. You can bet they hired him with the intentions of making a mark in that country, so expect more signings from Venezuela.

The Tracker has been updated.

UPDATE #4: I changed the title back to seven players signed. If you saw the name that was briefly listed as the eighth signing, I just haven’t confirmed that he’s official. More have signed, but might not be official until tomorrow. Any more updates today will get a new post.

Two notes. Juan Jerez is the brother of DSL Pirates outfielder Mario Jerez. Daniel Lopez is actually Dariel Lopez and here’s a video on him:

UPDATE #5: I lied, I confirmed that Luis Tello signed. A young player out of Panama from the Monagrillo Talents Academy. I didn’t update the title because I have very little info on him other than he bats right, throws right and I’ve seen him hit a long home run in a game he played with Team Panama.

UPDATE #6: Pirates signed 16-year-old SS Orlando Chivilli. Here’s a video while I update the tracker.

UPDATE # 7: Jesse Sanchez announced two bonuses, one surprisingly, which I’m only sharing because this is a subscription site, as is our Tracker. Mendez received $355,000, which is the highest known bonus handed to a pitcher by the Pirates since Luis Heredia. Chivilli was announced at $350,000, so more than half of the bonus pool has been spent already, and that’s not including two unknown bonuses from today.