With 2011 Spring Training in full swing, the Yankees are not only working on the now, as scouts continue to work on maintaining the franchise’s future.
That is why it came as no surprise when Dominican reporter Dionisio Soldevila reported to Baseball America and via Twitter, that the Yankees had agreed to terms with 20-year-old Dominican right-hander Juan Carlos Paniagua for $1.1 million bucks.
Paniagua hails from the Dominican Republic and just finished serving a one-year suspension for age fraud.
There is not much on this young kid, but here is what Baseball America wrote about Paniagua:
Paniagua, who had previously been suspended by Major League Baseball for one year due to age and identity fraud, is 6-foot-1, 170 pounds with excellent arm speed and a power fastball that sits around 93-95 mph and touches 98. Some scouts said Paniagua has shown feel for a curveball and a changeup that could become above-average offerings in the future, though other scouts weren’t quite as sold on his secondary pitches.
Age or identity fraud has become a problem, as Dominican players cannot sign with an MLB team until the age of 16 years old. Not only are players lying about being older to ink MLB money, older players are falsifying their age down to be a more valuable talent, which will get them a bigger signing bonus.
Future Of The AL East:
The AL East still remains the toughest division in baseball. Not only because it is home to the big spending Yankees and Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays have proven that through smart drafting and scouting talent, a team can be just as victorious working even with a payroll the size of A-rod’s paycheck this season.
This is a well-known victory for the smaller market teams and it also keeps baseball authentic in a sense.
What I didn’t know until I read MLB Trade Rumors earlier this week is that three of the AL East teams five hold roughly 30% of the first round draft picks in 2011.
Sadly, the Yankees are not one of the three and that is why they will heavily rely on their pro-scouts to find talent. So, signings like Paniagua will be much more frequent in the future in order to stay competitive in the AL East.
Here is the article by Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors that will break this all down for you. It is a must read:
AL East Clubs Face Varied Challenges In 2011 Draft
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [March 11, 2011 at 1:13pm CST] When you hear talk of disparity in baseball, people often point to the AL East, home to two of the biggest spenders in MLB and one of its poorest teams. But as the Rays have shown, small market clubs can offset uneven payrolls by drafting and developing players successfully.After an offseason in which Tampa Bay saw one ranked free agent after another sign elsewhere, including Boston and New York, the Rays face what could be the most critical amateur draft in their franchise’s history. This June, the Rays have an unprecedented number of early picks – they select 12 players in the first two rounds (90 picks). The challenge for executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and scouting director R.J. Harrison will be selecting future major leaguers with those picks.
- Yanks Sign Dominican Right-Hander (slidingintohome.blogspot.com)
- A’s, Yanks Agree To Terms With International FAs (mlbtraderumors.com)
- 2011 MLB Team Preview: Tampa Bay Rays (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- 2011 MLB Team Preview: New York Yankees (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- 2011 MLB Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Yankees Vs. Red Sox: Looking At The Facts Spells A Different Story For Rivalry (ladylovespinstripes.com)