Pittsburgh Pirates: Team Signs Another Top International Free Agent
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been aggressive in international free agency under Ben Cherington. The team has signed another top player.
When Rene Gayo was fired for taking illegal benefits, the Pittsburgh Pirates landed on Junior Vizcaino to lead their international amateur scouting efforts. It was an important area for then Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington to make the right decision on. It seems to have been the case, and under new General Manager Ben Cherington, Vizcaino has stayed in his role.
While the old regime with Gayo seemed to focus more on quantity than quality, under Vizcaino the Pirates have added notable international free agents and have been in the market to acquire more bonus pool space. In Huntington’s last year, the club signed Christopher Cruz with the club adding Solomon Maguire, Po-Yu Chen, and Shalin Polanco under Cherington.
The trend of adding top talent has continued and the club looks to have added more to what is a promising international free agent class headlined by Polanco. Per Jon Dreker of Pirates Prospects, the club has officially signed outfielder Gustavo Armas. Jon notes that the 17-year old has power and a big frame, something that is encouraging from a young player.
One thing to note is that the bonus amount is not announced due to MLB rules and not announcing bonuses of those from Venezuela. Baseball America mentioned that Armas has average speed but because of his age and potential to slow down, projects more to be in a corner position than center field.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates being more aggressive in the international market, this deal being finalized is a good sign. Armas has shown ability to hit and hit for power at just 17 and is a move that should help deepen the system. Cherington has mentioned the need for talent and the organization is doing just that in international free agency.