International free agency opened up Friday morning at 9:00 AM EST. There were few teams in baseball more active than the Pittsburgh Pirates, who made a huge splash in the first few minutes. The Pirates started off the morning by signing Shalin Polanco for $2.35 million right off the bat.
Shalin was ranked the 8th best available prospect by Baseball America and 11th by MLB Pipeline. This was a huge addition for the Pirates, as it was the second highest bonus that they have ever given to an international free agent.
The only one higher was Luis Heredia back in 2010 for $2.6 million. The Polanco signing was the largest of the day, but the Pittsburgh Pirates would not be sitting ducks, as they signed fourteen other players.
Of the fourteen players, six of them are pitching prospects. All six are right handers. These six players are the following: Jesus Clode, Darlin Diaz, Jose Garces, Luigi Hernandez, Antwone Kelly and Andres Kelly. The most notable pitcher out of this group would be Darlin Diaz, the 6-foot righty from Cotui, Dominican Republic.
In addition to the six right-handed pitchers, the Pittsburgh Pirates also signed three shortstop prospects. These players are Wesley Zapata, John Zorilla and Rubel Lebron.
The Pittsburgh Pirates also picked up four other outfielders to go along with Shalin Polanco. They are Rodolfo de la Cruz, Eddy Rodriguez, Esmerlyn Valdez and Ruben Vizcaya. Other than Polanco, Ruben Vizcaya is one of the better signings for this group. He is a 5-foot-10 ,155 pounder that resides from Venezuela.
Lastly, the Pirates managed to swipe up a much needed catcher, which is a position that is running very dry throughout the entire farm system right now. This catcher was Miguel Sosa.
While these fifteen are currently the only announced signings there is plenty of rumors surrounding players that the Pirates are linked to still. One of which being Gustavo Armas, a right-handed hitting outfielder from Venezuela.