It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the other side of the border. It seems like his teachings are needed as much as ever.
The Jays signed nine international free agents:
- Franklin Rojas, C, Venezuela
- Junior Arias, OF, Dominican Republic
- Pascual Archila, OF, Venezuela
- Angel Guzman, SS, Dominican Republic
- Juarlin Soto, SS, Dominican Republic
- Esmeiquel Arreche, C, Venezuela
- Javado Bain, SS, Bahamas
- Endry Reyes, SS, Dominican Republic
- Yohandi Medina, RHP, Venezuela
Ben Badler at Baseball America says:
Rojas represented Venezuela first at the U-12 World Cup in 2019 in Taiwan, then again in 2022 in Venezuela at the U-15 World Cup Americas Qualifier. He has a medium frame that’s strong for his age, without a ton of physical projection but already making hard contact with good swing path and bat-to-ball skills. His high baseball IQ is an asset behind the plate, where he projects to stick with good catch-and-throw skills and a solid-average arm.
Early in the scouting process, Arias stood out for his physicality and power potential. He’s strong with more room to fill out and already can punish the ball when he connects with what should be at least above-average raw power. Arias still has things to iron out with his swing and approach, resulting in up-and-down game performance and a power-over-hit profile. He’s a below-average runner who fits best defensively in an outfield corner.
Archila is a Venezuelan outfielder who has been training in the Dominican Republic. He’s an instinctive player who impressed scouts with his feel for hitting in a skills over tools package. He has a loose swing from the left side that’s short, simple and results in a lot of contact against live pitching with doubles power. Archila has played center field, though he isn’t a true burner runner, so he could move around all three outfield spots.
Guzman is a smaller-framed shortstop with a good mix of athleticism and skills. He’s a high-contact hitter from both sides of the play, spraying the ball around the field with a line-drive approach and occasional doubles. He moves around with easy actions at shortstop, where he has good body control, is fundamentally sound for his age and has an above-average arm, giving him a good chance to stick at shortstop.
The team spent $5,152,200 on the nine guys.
Beyond that, there is little for Jays' news. But in just over a month, players start to report to spring training. At least then we can start talking about how guys are in their best shape ever.
- Bob Nightengale says the Jays are ‘monitoring’ Blake Snell’s market, whatever that means. I can’t see that happening, but if they sign him they have a pitcher to dangle on the trade market.
- And there are more Jorge Soler rumours, which doesn’t excite me.