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OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Kudon to shank.58 for finding this.

Source: Rangers, Reds jump into bidding war for Dominican Inoa, 16

By Enrique Rojas
ESPNdeportes.com
(Archive)

Updated: June 23, 2008, 5:27 PM ET

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds have joined the Oakland Athletics in a bidding feud for the services of Dominican pitching prospect Michael Inoa, the crown jewel of the pool of Latin American players who will be available to be signed July 2, a source has told ESPNdeportes.com.

"Oakland has led the pack of teams interested in Inoa, but both Cincinnati and Texas have surged in the past few days, and it is now a three-horse race of big favorites to grab this kid," the source said.

"Some teams have offered him a major league contract in order to make the offer even more attractive, but Inoa's team is not interested in that. The battle may be fought until the last minutes," the source added.

July 2 marks the beginning of the eligibility period for players who turn 17 years old after Sept. 6, though they won't be able to play until next year. Players 17 or older may sign anytime.

Inoa, 16, at 6 feet 7 and 210 pounds, is a right-hander with a repertoire consisting of a 93-mph fastball, a changeup and a curveball.

The young prospect has been evaluated by every major league organization. General manager Billy Beane and a group of Oakland executives even traveled to Dominican Republic to evaluate Inoa.

According to data obtained by ESPNdeportes.com, at least seven teams were ready to give Inoa a bonus of more than $3 million, but many of them, including the New York Yankees, pulled out of the race as the price for the young ace went up.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3457855

Homer Bailey
06-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Nice find shank..... This is huge news.

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 05:57 PM
This is huge news. The Reds have already landed the top young hitter in Juan Duran who some scouts say is the best talent to come out off the DR in years. They've also been rumored to in the race for another top young outfielder named Yorman Rodriguez and now we have reports that they're hot after Michel Inoa. I would love to see them sign this kid. 6'7" 210 and already throwing 93 mph at age 16?!? That's amazing. Hopefully they can get this kid signed.

Homer Bailey
06-23-2008, 06:03 PM
I want to compare him to Randy Johnson just because of his size. Who knows how big this kid is going to get. I'd love to see the Reds fork up the cash to get this guy.

REDblooded
06-23-2008, 06:10 PM
He's a pitcher and Beane is willing to spend top dollar for him. That's all I need to hear. Stop at nothing.

Grande Donkey
06-23-2008, 06:15 PM
He is a great talent but that is a ton of money for a 16 year old pitcher. I think it could be better used else where.

Griffey012
06-23-2008, 06:22 PM
He's a pitcher and Beane is willing to spend top dollar for him. That's all I need to hear. Stop at nothing.

I agree, that guy won't spend a penny he doesnt have too typically

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 06:46 PM
I'd much rather see money spent on a kid like Inoa than a guy like Patterson or Bako. Kids like this don't along too often. The Reds have some major selling points and they should use them. Point out to him and is agent the strong Latin influence the Reds have on the current pitching staff in Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Francisco Cordero. They also have Juan Duran in the system and both are the same age. Use that to their advantage. Use Mario Soto as a selling point. Point out what he did for Cueto. Inoa already has a plus fastball and good curveball and just an average changeup. Imagine what Soto could do with him. With Dunn and Griffey's contracts coming off the books, the Reds have the money to throw at him. Add in the Mario Soto factor and I think there's a very good chance Inoa could end up a Red.

Hondo
06-23-2008, 06:51 PM
This is Great News... Getting some Talent, real Talent signed... Bob C may be the reason this deal gets done... Him wanting something everyone else wants...

This is the kind of Pospect that could be in the Big Leagues by age 19 or 20 with his Fastball and curve... Get that Change Up going and wow... Look out!

Grande Donkey
06-23-2008, 06:54 PM
I'd much rather see money spent on a kid like Inoa than a guy like Patterson or Bako. Kids like this don't along too often. The Reds have some major selling points and they should use them. Point out to him and is agent the strong Latin influence the Reds have on the current pitching staff in Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Francisco Cordero. They also have Juan Duran in the system and both are the same age. Use that to their advantage. Use Mario Soto as a selling point. Point out what he did for Cueto. Inoa already has a plus fastball and good curveball and just an average changeup. Imagine what Soto could do with him. With Dunn and Griffey's contracts coming off the books, the Reds have the money to throw at him. Add in the Mario Soto factor and I think there's a very good chance Inoa could end up a Red.I would much rather use the 3 million signing multiple prospects that putting all your marbles in a 16 year old pitcher that could flame out by the time he is 19.

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 06:56 PM
I would much rather use the 3 million signing multiple prospects that putting all your marbles in a 16 year old pitcher that could flame out by the time he is 19.

Not me. I would rather sign the top talent rather than signing a bunch of guys who profile to be average players. In this case I like quality over quantity.

PuffyPig
06-23-2008, 06:56 PM
If this kid was draft eligible, where would he likely go in the draft?

Add in the fact that you can get him without sacrificing a draft pick and his value goes through the roof.

I assume he would be Top 5 talent. Maybe Top 1?

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 06:58 PM
If this kid was draft eligible, where would he likely go in the draft?

Add in the fact that you can get him without sacrificing a draft pick and his value goes through the roof.

I assume he would be Top 5 talent. Maybe Top 1?

When the Reds signed Juan Duran in March scouts said it was like having the number one overall pick. My guess is Inoa would rank right up there and no worse than top five talent.

HumnHilghtFreel
06-23-2008, 07:03 PM
I'm really loving all this news about the Reds in the mix for these players. Gives me a ton of faith in Bob C, potentially putting his money where his mouth is.

NorrisHopper30
06-23-2008, 07:04 PM
Go for the kid, shell out the money. If it doesn't work out it still shows dedication to the fan base and hopefully a history of more DR signings.

redsmetz
06-23-2008, 07:16 PM
Not me. I would rather sign the top talent rather than signing a bunch of guys who profile to be average players. In this case I like quality over quantity.

I agree. Every young pitcher has the risk of flaming out. If we live with that fear constantly, we'll never improve the organization.

Blitz Dorsey
06-23-2008, 07:19 PM
And since we're not going to be forking over $100 mil+ for the Johan's of the world, these kind of guys are our best shot at really stocking up on great pitching.

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 07:46 PM
There's an article on Baseball America that quotes an International scout as saying Michel Inoa is a once-in-a-decade type pitcher.

lollipopcurve
06-23-2008, 07:51 PM
Point out to him and is agent the strong Latin influence the Reds have on the current pitching staff in Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Francisco Cordero. They also have Juan Duran in the system and both are the same age. Use that to their advantage. Use Mario Soto as a selling point. Point out what he did for Cueto. Inoa already has a plus fastball and good curveball and just an average changeup. Imagine what Soto could do with him. With Dunn and Griffey's contracts coming off the books, the Reds have the money to throw at him. Add in the Mario Soto factor and I think there's a very good chance Inoa could end up a Red.

Exactly. This is what we were talking about with the signing of Duran this winter -- the Reds are building some real cachet in the Dominican. Thanks to Krivsky, Tony Arias and others, the Reds have gone from a nobody to perhaps the team with the most momentum in the DR. What a huge, huge development, and if they sign the Inoa kid they're going to look like the Dodgers used to look down there, skimming the cream of the crop.

lollipopcurve
06-23-2008, 07:52 PM
And since we're not going to be forking over $100 mil+ for the Johan's of the world, these kind of guys are our best shot at really stocking up on great pitching.

yes -- and the domestic draft

GoReds33
06-23-2008, 07:57 PM
This is great news. Just to be in consideration with a kid like this is great, but now it comes down to winning. Let's get this kid!

NorrisHopper30
06-23-2008, 08:56 PM
And since we're not going to be forking over $100 mil+ for the Johan's of the world, these kind of guys are our best shot at really stocking up on great pitching.

This is the best way to put it. Go for it, if it doesn't work out you lose 4MM dollars, big whoop. If it does work out we've got ourselves a dandy.

Oxilon
06-23-2008, 09:31 PM
I'd much rather see money spent on a kid like Inoa than a guy like Patterson or Bako. Kids like this don't along too often. The Reds have some major selling points and they should use them. Point out to him and is agent the strong Latin influence the Reds have on the current pitching staff in Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Francisco Cordero. They also have Juan Duran in the system and both are the same age. Use that to their advantage. Use Mario Soto as a selling point. Point out what he did for Cueto. Inoa already has a plus fastball and good curveball and just an average changeup. Imagine what Soto could do with him. With Dunn and Griffey's contracts coming off the books, the Reds have the money to throw at him. Add in the Mario Soto factor and I think there's a very good chance Inoa could end up a Red.

Inoa is only 16, so he's at the very least four, five years away from the majors. Who knows if Cueto, Volquez, Cordero, and even Soto will be affiliated with the club by the time he'd be major league ready, not to mention that's still a big 'if.' I'm all for the signing of Duran, since he's a position player and that injury risk is much less greater than it is for a 16 year old pitcher. Keep in mind it's going to cost $6MM atleast, that'd be a hard bullett to bite

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 09:34 PM
Inoa is only 16, so he's at the very least four, five years away from the majors. Who knows if Cueto, Volquez, Cordero, and even Soto will be affiliated with the club by the time he'd be major league ready, not to mention that's still a big 'if.' I'm all for the signing of Duran, since he's a position player and that injury risk is much less greater than it is for a 16 year old pitcher. Keep in mind it's going to cost $6MM atleast, that'd be a hard bullett to bite

If you're not willing to take risks then you're probably not going to win.

flyer85
06-23-2008, 09:41 PM
If you're not willing to take risks then you're probably not going to win.all depends on what those risks are

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2008, 09:42 PM
all depends on what those risks are

This is a kid who scouts have said is a once-in-a-decade type pitcher. Some of that is just hype but the kid is clearly talented and this is a case where I'd like to see the Reds take the risk and sign him.

Grande Donkey
06-23-2008, 09:45 PM
If you're not willing to take risks then you're probably not going to win.That is a two way street you know. You can also put your team in huge holes by taking the wrong risks. And don't act like you can't build a winner through good management, smart personnel moves and great scouting while never taking any big risks.

I'm not saying that I would be mad if they signed him, I would be jumping for joy, I just think they could spend the money more wisely. You could sign 3-4 top Dominican prospects for the same price you could sign Inoa.

RedlegJake
06-23-2008, 10:16 PM
If they are going after Inoa AFTER signing Duran and AFTER signing so many of their 08 draftees then it signals to me that they will likely still be going after Ramirez and other prospects. I think Cast is serious about putting money in the minors. He wants to win now, but he recognizes the value of ensuring a stream of future talent, too, to keep it going. If the Reds hauled away Duran, Inoa and Ramirez it would be a baseball coup of gigantic proportions in the Latin arena.

LoganBuck
06-23-2008, 11:15 PM
If they are going after Inoa AFTER signing Duran and AFTER signing so many of their 08 draftees then it signals to me that they will likely still be going after Ramirez and other prospects. I think Cast is serious about putting money in the minors. He wants to win now, but he recognizes the value of ensuring a stream of future talent, too, to keep it going. If the Reds hauled away Duran, Inoa and Ramirez it would be a baseball coup of gigantic proportions in the Latin arena.

Add Yonder Alonso to that group and it gets really scary.

MartyFan
06-23-2008, 11:33 PM
If they are going after Inoa AFTER signing Duran and AFTER signing so many of their 08 draftees then it signals to me that they will likely still be going after Ramirez and other prospects. I think Cast is serious about putting money in the minors. He wants to win now, but he recognizes the value of ensuring a stream of future talent, too, to keep it going. If the Reds hauled away Duran, Inoa and Ramirez it would be a baseball coup of gigantic proportions in the Latin arena.

I think he tells the fan base he wants to win now knowing fully that the only strategy to win at all is to develop the minors.

AmarilloRed
06-24-2008, 01:15 AM
Good news if we can land Inoa, but it will be a very fierce competition between the 3 teams. Any idea if it is just the best monetary offer that will land Inoa, or is he looking for something else before he signs with a team?

One other thing. It looks like the prices for his services will be at least $4 million, probably in the 4.2 to 4.5 million range. It's Premium content from Baseball America, so I couldn't provide a link or quote the article.

red-in-la
06-24-2008, 01:45 AM
This is where I want to see JR's and Dunn's money go.

After the Reds have assembled a top flight, hard throwing pitching staff and pipeline, then go after some offense.

schmidty622
06-24-2008, 07:16 AM
If they lose out on the 4 million or so it takes to get Inoa, they could turn around and offer 2 mill each to OF Yorman Rodriguez and RHP Adis Portillo. They are both considered to be the top prospects coming out of the Venezuela.

HBP
06-24-2008, 08:46 AM
From the Duran signing:


"They have a budget," Castellini said of his scouts. "They decide how to spend it."
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/COL09/803090388

Cast must have added money to that budget because Alonso won't be cheap and if they pull off one of these other signings, we're looking at maybe $10 mil plus in just three players for '08.

jojo
06-24-2008, 09:11 AM
Beware of the Mariners....

camisadelgolf
06-24-2008, 09:24 AM
Beware of the Mariners....

Yeah, their policy is basically, "Oh, he's not from the United States? OK, we'll take him."

jojo
06-24-2008, 09:26 AM
Yeah, their policy is basically, "Oh, he's not from the United States? OK, we'll take him."

"And we'll spend money on them...." To fair though its a real strength for their system and they target good players not from the US and it's difficult to believe that they haven't scouted Inoa.

camisadelgolf
06-24-2008, 09:38 AM
"And we'll spend money on them...." To fair though its a real strength for their system and they target good players not from the US and it's difficult to believe that they haven't scouted Inoa.

Yeah, you're right. The team might be downright pathetic if it weren't for the international players. By the way, I believe all 30 MLB teams have scouted Inoa, depending on what 'evaluated' means.

bucksfan2
06-24-2008, 09:44 AM
Would you rather pay 4-5M to a 16 year old Dominican or pay 4-5M to a draft pick that slips because of signability issues? I am not against signing this kid but at the same time it is huge risk to give 4M to a apparent 16 year old kid who will have to overcome both cultural and language barriers. Look what happened to a Milton Loo and his inability to play that far from home.

camisadelgolf
06-24-2008, 09:58 AM
Would you rather pay 4-5M to a 16 year old Dominican or pay 4-5M to a draft pick that slips because of signability issues? I am not against signing this kid but at the same time it is huge risk to give 4M to a apparent 16 year old kid who will have to overcome both cultural and language barriers. Look what happened to a Milton Loo and his inability to play that far from home.

Milton Loo gave back almost all of his signing bonus.

OnBaseMachine
06-24-2008, 01:13 PM
Reds scouting director Chirs Buckley said the club has started talks with top pick Yonder Alfonso and the Reds are pursuing the Michael Inoa, the 16-year-old Dominican pitching prospect.

Buckley expects Inoa to get more than the $3 million Juan Duran, the 16-year-old outfielder the Reds signed, got. Inoa is a 6-7, 210-pound right-hander who throws 93. He can't be signed until July 2.

"We've scouting him thoroughly," Buckley. "He's very talented. He compares favorably to the top players over here. Will we get get him? I don't know. But if we don't it won't be from lack of effort or commitment on the part of ownership."

One thing working in the Reds favor is they did not have a second round pick, so they didn't have to spend that bonus money."

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a984f1168-f8dc-4430-b2c4-dbcf6505d6c3&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

camisadelgolf
06-24-2008, 01:46 PM
Juan Duran got $2mm. I <3 John Fay.

Screwball
06-24-2008, 01:50 PM
Reds scouting director Chirs Buckley said the club has started talks with top pick Yonder Alfonso and the Reds are pursuing the Michael Inoa, the 16-year-old Dominican pitching prospect.

Buckley expects Inoa to get more than the $3 million Juan Duran, the 16-year-old outfielder the Reds signed, got. Inoa is a 6-7, 210-pound right-hander who throws 93. He can't be signed until July 2.

"We've scouting him thoroughly," Buckley. "He's very talented. He compares favorably to the top players over here. Will we get get him? I don't know. But if we don't it won't be from lack of effort or commitment on the part of ownership."

One thing working in the Reds favor is they did not have a second round pick, so they didn't have to spend that bonus money."

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog&#37;3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a984f1168-f8dc-4430-b2c4-dbcf6505d6c3&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

Lemme guess.... Fay wrote this.

OnBaseMachine
06-24-2008, 01:54 PM
Lemme guess.... Fay wrote this.

Yep. In the other half of that piece he referred to Yonder Alonso as Yonder Alfonso.

REDREAD
06-24-2008, 02:20 PM
Here's an interesting thought.. The Reds could use draft/prospect development money to sign this kid INSTEAD of offering Dunn arbitration to get a supplemental pick.

This is another reason why I think FA draft compensation picks are somewhat overrated.
This is a perfect example. The Reds can spend money to get the equivalent of a top 10 draft pick without the risk of Dunn accepting arbitration (if they don't want him back, which I think is the case).

It's exciting that the Reds got Duran and are one of the finalists for this kid. Finally this franchise is actually trying to acquire young talent instead of giving it lip service as they did in the Allen/Lindner era.

Kc61
06-24-2008, 02:25 PM
Here's an interesting thought.. The Reds could use draft/prospect development money to sign this kid INSTEAD of offering Dunn arbitration to get a supplemental pick.

This is another reason why I think FA draft compensation picks are somewhat overrated.
This is a perfect example. The Reds can spend money to get the equivalent of a top 10 draft pick without the risk of Dunn accepting arbitration (if they don't want him back, which I think is the case).

It's exciting that the Reds got Duran and are one of the finalists for this kid. Finally this franchise is actually trying to acquire young talent instead of giving it lip service as they did in the Allen/Lindner era.

Great post.

Shows the value of payroll flexibility. In a free agent era, you don't always have to get value in a trade (or other player decision) if you free up dollars and use them well. The international player market is an example of how the money can be used, without any draft involved. I think that's your point.

jojo
06-24-2008, 02:33 PM
Great post.

Shows the value of payroll flexibility. In a free agent era, you don't always have to get value in a trade (or other player decision) if you free up dollars and use them well. The international player market is an example of how the money can be used, without any draft involved. I think that's your point.

I'm not sure that payroll and player development budgets are treated that way by the Reds though.....

dougdirt
06-24-2008, 02:57 PM
Juan Duran got $2mm. I <3 John Fay.

Thats not entirely accurate....

To expand further, there are fairly strong substantiated rumors that Duran got more than the 2 million that was talked about.

Matt700wlw
06-24-2008, 03:39 PM
A's appear to be the front runner at this point

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2008/266380.html

OnBaseMachine
06-24-2008, 03:53 PM
A's appear to be the front runner at this point

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2008/266380.html

New article old info. The ESPN article is the most up to date.

camisadelgolf
06-24-2008, 04:14 PM
Thats not entirely accurate....

To expand further, there are fairly strong substantiated rumors that Duran got more than the 2 million that was talked about.

Thanks for clarifying--I wondered about that. I just meant to further point out Fay's infamous typos and false information, though.

PuffyPig
06-24-2008, 05:12 PM
Here's an interesting thought.. The Reds could use draft/prospect development money to sign this kid INSTEAD of offering Dunn arbitration to get a supplemental pick.



It costs nothing to offer arbitration. And for two first round picks, it's a no brainer.

It only costs money if Dunn accepts.

if Dunn accepts a arbitration, we have him tied up for one year, and we could trade him to any team unrestricted. That is likely better than a long term deal. We get to keep him with zero long term risk, and can trade him unimpeded.

jojo
06-24-2008, 05:19 PM
It costs nothing to offer arbitration. And for two first round picks, it's a no brainer.

It only costs money if Dunn accepts.

if Dunn accepts a arbitration, we have him tied up for one year, and we could trade him to any team unrestricted. That is likely better than a long term deal. We get to keep him with zero long term risk, and can trade him unimpeded.

Right-Dunn accepting arbitration is the least of the Reds worries. Those picks are valuable too.

SMcGavin
06-24-2008, 05:32 PM
It costs nothing to offer arbitration. And for two first round picks, it's a no brainer.

It only costs money if Dunn accepts.

if Dunn accepts a arbitration, we have him tied up for one year, and we could trade him to any team unrestricted. That is likely better than a long term deal. We get to keep him with zero long term risk, and can trade him unimpeded.

Yes. Though I disagree with it, I understand not wanting to sign Dunn to a longterm contract. Declining to offer him arbitration doesn't make much sense.

TC81190
06-24-2008, 05:41 PM
This is very, very exciting news to me. These are the kind of moves the Reds should be making more of. I'd rather have an Inoa than to see his money used on a Stanton, Valentin or what-have-you.

Topcat
06-24-2008, 05:46 PM
OH man would this just cap off a great year of up and comers and showing that the faith is growing to actual long term contention.

fearofpopvol1
06-24-2008, 08:55 PM
Think the pitching of Volquez and the potential of Cueto have any ties to their interest in this kid?

camisadelgolf
06-25-2008, 08:51 AM
Think the pitching of Volquez and the potential of Cueto have any ties to their interest in this kid?

I realize this isn't a very productive answer, but I really think Cueto and Volquez have almost nothing to do with this kid.

New Fever
06-25-2008, 02:12 PM
Jim Callis (BA) just answered a question about Inoa in his chat.

Matt (Boston): What's the latest news on Michael Inoa? I heard somewhere Oakland offered him $4.5 mil, but I could be wrong.

Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET ) Ben Badler, who's all over the international scene for us, says Inoa could command more than $4 million to sign, blowing away the record for a Latin American bonus (not counting Cubans). The A's appear to be the front-runner, though the Reds and Rangers are also in the hunt. He can't sign until July 2. And no, I haven't heard anything recently about Edward Salcedo.

lollipopcurve
06-25-2008, 03:06 PM
I really like how the Reds' organization could look to a 16-year-old Dominican hotshot pitcher -- Duran's already there, Soto can help him with his changeup (apparently Inoa does have a changeup that can be refined), and Volquez and Cueto are staff anchors young enough to still be around when Inoa is 21 (about the time he'd hit the majors, if all goes well). If the Reds stay competitive financially in the bidding, they sure seem like they'd have an advantage, so long as they pitch everything well.

OnBaseMachine
06-25-2008, 03:32 PM
Ben (Centerville, OH): I've heard the Reds are in on the Inoa sweepstakes in the DR, if the money is equal, does having Volquez, Cueto, and Mario Soto help the Reds chances?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) Any number of top international prospects have signed for less money one place than they were offered another place, after building relationships with the team that lands them. I have no inside word on how close Inoa is to the Reds, but have heard they're in the hunt.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/majors/espn-chat/2008/266392.html

Steve4192
06-25-2008, 03:58 PM
Ben (Centerville, OH): I've heard the Reds are in on the Inoa sweepstakes in the DR, if the money is equal, does having Volquez, Cueto, and Mario Soto help the Reds chances?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) Any number of top international prospects have signed for less money one place than they were offered another place, after building relationships with the team that lands them. I have no inside word on how close Inoa is to the Reds, but have heard they're in the hunt.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/majors/espn-chat/2008/266392.html

Sounds to me like the Reds & Rangers were late to the party though. If the money is equal, I suspect Inoa will end up with the team that has formed the longest relationship with him.

The Reds need to outbid the A's, not just match them.

NorrisHopper30
06-25-2008, 05:23 PM
If the Reds keep reeling in the young Dominicans, I wonder if a pipeline could be created of players that want to play with their buds.

TRF
06-25-2008, 05:37 PM
If the Reds keep reeling in the young Dominicans, I wonder if a pipeline could be created of players that want to play with their buds.

It's a country not a neighborhood.

NorrisHopper30
06-25-2008, 06:42 PM
It's a country not a neighborhood.

All of the big boys play against each other it seems like in the DR.

cincyinco
06-25-2008, 06:48 PM
I also think you might underestimate the pride those kids feels about coming to the US and playing ball. Then the country might very well be the neighborhood.

Blitz Dorsey
06-25-2008, 09:19 PM
Imagine if you were in a foreign country where very few people spoke English. All of a sudden, any American around would be your buddy, whether you knew them or not. Same way with Dominican kids when they come over here. Even if they didn't grow up with a fellow player, you better believe they are going to be best friends once they get to America and are on the same team together.

camisadelgolf
06-26-2008, 08:30 AM
Imagine if you were in a foreign country where very few people spoke English. All of a sudden, any American around would be your buddy, whether you knew them or not. Same way with Dominican kids when they come over here. Even if they didn't grow up with a fellow player, you better believe they are going to be best friends once they get to America and are on the same team together.

I'll echo this. I'm definitely better friends with people who speak English than people who speak German. It's nothing against the language or people--I just feel more comfortable and have more constructive conversation.

Joseph
06-26-2008, 11:44 PM
Any news of late?

OnBaseMachine
06-27-2008, 12:02 AM
Any news of late?

I haven't seen anything new yet but I'll search again later.

OnBaseMachine
06-27-2008, 11:32 AM
Not really an update just a scouting report.

Scouting Report: Michel Inoa
June 26th, 2008 · 5 Comments

By Kiley McDaniel

As mentioned in the last article, 16 year old Dominican right-hander Michel Inoa is expected to sign with the Oakland A’s for a bonus between $4.25 million and $4.50 million as the headliner of the international signing period that starts on July 2nd.

There are still plenty of big-time players available after Inoa, and, as usual, it includes projectable arms and toolsy bats.

The top bat is up for debate, with some people in the camp of Rafael Rodriguez, a power-hitting outfielder from the Dominican, but the majority prefer Yorman Rodriguez (no relation) who is a tooled-up Venezuelan centerfielder with Carlos Beltran-like upside.

The top arm after Inoa is Adis Portillo, an inconsistent, lanky righty from Venezuela that shows flashes of low 90’s velocity and a solid curveball and changeup. He figures to get an inflated price as the consolation prize to the clubs who weren’t willing to pay the price for Inoa.

Check out a comprehensive Inoa scouting report after the jump, and stay tuned for reports on the rest of the top 15 Latin prospects coming shortly…

(Inoa photo credit: Chris Kline/Baseball America)

1. Michel Inoa, RHP, Dominican Republic
There has certainly been much said about Inoa in recent weeks, so I’ll stick to reporting what I’ve heard rather that what you can already read there. Inoa is 6′7 and an athletic 205 pound right-handed pitcher whose fastball has been as high as 96, but sits in the 91-93 range presently.

He is especially noted for his outstanding frame: he’s already enormous for a 16 year old, but has plenty of remaining projection, amazing body control, and mechanics that translate into borderline unbelievable command for his age and size. Most 6′7 teenage pitchers (there aren’t that many to begin with) are gangly, all arms and legs, raw, lack command and body control, and generally just a long way from being a finished product. One source termed Inoa frame as, “a basketball body with some definition—he’s still skinny—but he’s projectable and has basketball athleticism.”

These qualities have some projecting him to hit 100 in a few years, and that isn’t too far-fetched considering the fact that he’s had little to no high-level coaching. Inoa’s mechanics are clean and the ball “comes out of his hand shockingly easy,” according to another source. Inoa comes from an athletic family, has a clean and fluid arm action, and earns high marks for his makeup and work ethic.

Inoa has advanced feel a curveball that already flashes above-average and most project for plus, along with a splitter than one insider called “dirty.” He’s been called a , “once in a decade talent,” by more than a few. The first source said that elements of Inoa remind him of Dellin Betances as a high school prospect, with the big projectable frame, lack of high-level instruction, easy velocity, and feel for a potential plus curveball, but then points out the differences that make Betances a $1 million bonus 18 year old and figure to make Inoa a $4 million plus bonus player at 16 years old.

Inoa has superior body control, command, and third pitch with an overall more polished package, and obviously is two years younger. He could very well be Rick Porcello in two years and that would seem to make $4 million a bargain. I’ll get into more detail about the logic and risk of amateur bonuses and Latin versus draft spending an article after the Latin scouting reports.

By now, tou can see what kind of talent Inoa has; plenty to justify multiple visits to the Dominican from big hitters like Brian Cashman and reportedly four visits from Billy Beane. The talk has been until recently that the Yankees were out in front and the final price would be in the $3.0 million to $3.5 million range, but it appears once talk of numbers north of that range became prevalent, most teams still in the running dropped out almost on principle, if $4 million is the new starting point.

Since I know anyone that’s reading this site desperately wants a breakdown on the 20-80 scale for Inoa, I’ll do the irresponsible thing and throw you a bone. I won’t be so foolish as to come up with an OFP, since Latin prospects have a completely different scale, just like the draft amateurs and professional players do, but these 20-80 grades come after consulting a few sources, so it’s pretty close to the stuff on a team’s scouting report.

Fastball: 55/70
Curveball: 50/60
Splitter: 50/60
Command: 45/60

Those future grades are on par with what I came up with after seeing Rick Porcello, while the present grades, obviously, aren’t a whole lot to write home about on their own, but from a 16 year old, it’s enough to write…well, a little over 600 words so far.

http://www.saberscouting.com/2008/06/26/michelinoareport/

NJReds
06-29-2008, 10:32 AM
Think the pitching of Volquez and the potential of Cueto have any ties to their interest in this kid?

Looks like you were on the money with this comment ... from Daugherty's column:


It also helps that the Reds' roster includes Volquez, Francisco Cordero and Johnny Cueto. All are Dominican and well known in their home country. So well known, in fact, that each talked with Inoa on the phone two weeks ago, lobbying him to sign with Cincinnati.

NorrisHopper30
06-29-2008, 11:54 AM
Looks like you were on the money with this comment ... from Daugherty's column:

Great news!!

OnBaseMachine
06-29-2008, 12:13 PM
It's great to see the Reds using the likes of Cueto, Cordero, and Volquez to their advantage. They may not sign this kid but it's nice to see them among the finalists for him.

lollipopcurve
06-29-2008, 12:57 PM
It also helps that the Reds' roster includes Volquez, Francisco Cordero and Johnny Cueto. All are Dominican and well known in their home country. So well known, in fact, that each talked with Inoa on the phone two weeks ago, lobbying him to sign with Cincinnati.

Smart. A "must" ingredient in the recruiting process.

icehole3
06-29-2008, 02:36 PM
I bet Cueto's convo had to be something along the lines that in a few years you could be in the majors.

fearofpopvol1
06-29-2008, 09:26 PM
Looks like you were on the money with this comment ... from Daugherty's column:

Thanks for posting! That makes me really happy! Just the fact that those players lobbied this kid. This can only be good for the Reds and their future in landing touted Dominican players.

hmbarnitz
06-30-2008, 12:05 AM
Looks like the A's are going to get him?

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2008/266411.html

Bummer...

GoReds33
06-30-2008, 12:53 AM
Looks like the A's are going to get him?

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2008/266411.html

Bummer...I think that this was one player that I'm happy just being a player in the bidding. Just knowing we had a shot gives me lots of hope for the future.

mbgrayson
06-30-2008, 12:59 AM
From MLB Trade Rumors (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/):


A's To Sign Michel Inoa
By Tim Dierkes [June 29 at 10:55pm CST]
According to John Manuel of Baseball America, the A's have reached an agreement with 16 year-old Dominican righty Michel Inoa. He'll receive a $4.25MM signing bonus, a record for an international amateur (excluding Cuban defectors). Manuel reports that the Yankees had a tentative deal in place for $2.7MM at one point but agent Adam Katz stepped in and raised the price.

This signing is akin to drafting a top high school player here in the states, only Inoa is younger. Oakland's farm system has improved drastically in the last year or so.

AmarilloRed
06-30-2008, 02:00 AM
The Baseball America article mentioned that the Reds and Rangers had been told in recent weeks that it was highly likely that Oakland would sign Inoa. If this is true, it would seem logical that the Reds would have turned their attention on Rodriguez as a result.

arly2380
06-30-2008, 02:02 AM
nice job by beane reloading their farm system plus contending at the same time. but i bet he regrets not trading blanton who is really struggling

While an A's official wouldn't comment on the record to Baseball America last week, assistant general manager David Forst told the San Jose Mercury-News, "He has a fastball in the mid-90s, a loose arm, a breaking ball and changeup. He's as polished as you can imagine a 16-year-old being."

Several scouts have told BA that Inoa is a once-in-a-generation talent, thanks to his 6-foot-7, 210-pound frame, athletic bloodlines and present stuff.

Now he'll receive a once-in-a-generation signing bonus.

OnBaseMachine
06-30-2008, 11:27 AM
That's unfortunate but not really surprising. Oakland was thought to be the leader for Inoa for weeks. Now hopefully the Reds can get Yorman Rodriguez and make this a very successful International signing period.

RedsManRick
06-30-2008, 11:54 AM
The Baseball America article mentioned that the Reds and Rangers had been told in recent weeks that it was highly likely that Oakland would sign Inoa. If this is true, it would seem logical that the Reds would have turned their attention on Rodriguez as a result.

That was my thinking as well. I imagine they wanted to shift focus and act quickly -- probably a smart move once they felt comfortable that Inoa wasn't going to happen.

cincyinco
06-30-2008, 03:28 PM
Is it possible this is a ploy to squeeze a last minute higher offer?

dougdirt
06-30-2008, 03:31 PM
Is it possible this is a ploy to squeeze a last minute higher offer?

Very doubtful from what I can tell.

OnBaseMachine
07-01-2008, 02:12 PM
All along I thought his name was pronounced Michael, turns out it's Mee-shell, not Michael.

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2008, 02:17 AM
WOW! The Reds offered Inoa 5 million dollars and a major league contract and he turned it down.

Inoa agrees to $4.25M signing bonus, minor league deal with A's

By Enrique Rojas
ESPNdeportes.com
(Archive)

Updated: July 2, 2008, 12:41 AM ET

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dominican prospect Michael Inoa has agreed to a minor league contract and a $4.25 million signing bonus with the Oakland Athletics, said the 16-year-old from Santo Domingo.

Inoa and his parents turned down more lucrative offers from the Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers due to Oakland's positive results developing young pitchers. The Reds offered a $5 million signing bonus and a major league contract, while the Rangers offered $5.2 million, according to Inoa.

"After careful thought, my parents and I decided that Oakland has a better pitcher development program, and that will be more important for my career in the long haul," said Inoa, who became eligible to sign with any major league ballclub on Tuesday at the strike of midnight.

Inoa (6 foot 7, 210 pounds) is a right-handed hurler with a three-pitch repertoire consisting of a fastball (93 mph), changeup and curveball.

A's general manager Billy Beane was expected to make an official announcement Wednesday at noon from Santo Domingo.

"I think the personal treatment that Beane put into this was the determining factor so that Inoa's parents opted to stay with Oakland even though there were higher offers," said Edgar Mercedes, president of the Born to Play baseball academy where Inoa played since he was 12.

Other prospects from Born to Play who signed with major league organizations were left-handed pitcher Carlos Pérez ($600,000 with the Atlanta Braves), shortstop Anderson Félix ($500,000 with the New York Yankees), right-handed pitcher Pedro Martínez ($150,000 with the San Diego Padres) and shortstop Jimmy De los Santos ($100,000 with the Atlanta Braves).

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3470209

dougdirt
07-02-2008, 02:27 AM
Wow.... they offered a MLB contract to a 16 year old?! That is beyond ridiculous. I have to say, I think I am glad he turned us down.

Patrick Bateman
07-02-2008, 02:38 AM
Wow.... they offered a MLB contract to a 16 year old?! That is beyond ridiculous. I have to say, I think I am glad he turned us down.

I doubt that a major league contract would even appeal to Inoa. Clearly he is most concerned about his development as a pitcher. A major league contract is going to force him to be rushed, and can only have negative effect on his development. I certainly agree with the uneasy feeling of a major league contract for a kid that young.

Though with the money the Reds offerred, and the prescence of Soto/Cueto/Volquez and our most recent success in this area, I'm a little surprised we didn't get him. But it is difficult to argue with their decision to go with Beane's system that has been a clear success.

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2008, 02:41 AM
Though with the money the Reds offerred, and the prescence of Soto/Cueto/Volquez and our most recent success in this area, I'm a little surprised we didn't get him. But it is difficult to argue with their decision to go with Beane's system that has been a clear success.

I agree. If someone had told me last week the Reds would offer Inoa five million dollars and a chance to be in the majors in three years pitching with Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez then I would thought Inoa would be a lock to sign with the Reds. It's disappointing that he chose the A's over the Reds but I can hardly blame him after looking at the A's track record of developing young pitchers.

RedlegJake
07-02-2008, 04:17 AM
He's a smart kid to turn down a major league deal. If you have real talent it can be a hindrance actually because you're forced to rush when you might not be ready. Hopefully the Reds will begin putting some of their pitchers in the majors along with Cueto and develop a rep like Oakland.

lollipopcurve
07-02-2008, 08:26 AM
hey, they tried -- hard

all you can do

this kid must be something

Steve4192
07-02-2008, 09:21 AM
Wow.... they offered a MLB contract to a 16 year old?! That is beyond ridiculous. I have to say, I think I am glad he turned us down.

I'll come right out and say it. I am glad he turned the Reds down.

He would have been a colossal bust if the Reds had signed him to a major league contract. There is about a 1% chance he will be ready to stick in the majors by the time he is 20 years old. Those are just some horrible odds no matter how talented the kid is.

princeton
07-02-2008, 09:45 AM
"After careful thought, my parents and I decided that Oakland has a better pitcher development program, and that will be more important for my career in the long haul," said Inoa.

not impressed by the Reds' failure to develop a starter for twenty freaking years?

Inoa the Chicken-Hearted

westofyou
07-02-2008, 10:08 AM
not impressed by the Reds' failure to develop a starter for twenty freaking years?

Inoa the Chicken-Hearted

Where would yo like to make your MLB pitching debut?

1. GAB a HR haven and a place where bad defense goes to breed.

2. Oakland a place engulfed in cool Pacific air every night with the worlds largest foul area and a consistent defense taking the field most evenings.

Benihana
07-02-2008, 10:32 AM
Where would yo like to make your MLB pitching debut?

1. GAB a HR haven and a place where bad defense goes to breed.

2. Oakland a place engulfed in cool Pacific air every night with the worlds largest foul area and a consistent defense taking the field most evenings.

I don't think you can accurately forecast what the quality of the defense behind you will be 5+ years from now.

westofyou
07-02-2008, 10:36 AM
I don't think you can accurately forecast what the quality of the defense behind you will be 5+ years from now.

Well if the A's are still playing in Oakland you can bet they'll have a good defense, and the Reds?

Well they'll have LH power hitters that's for sure, how they play defense will probably be factored in after the first given.

Steve4192
07-02-2008, 10:49 AM
I don't think you can accurately forecast what the quality of the defense behind you will be 5+ years from now.

I think you can assess the organization's commitment to putting a quality defensive squad on the field. The Reds haven't had an above average defense since Barry Larkin was in his prime.

Steve4192
07-02-2008, 10:51 AM
Inoa the Chicken-Hearted

http://www.akiln.com/lmg-montypython/images/MPHG_robin-header_01.jpg

RedsFanInBama
07-02-2008, 03:40 PM
That's a lot of jack for a 16-year-old. Hopefully he stays healthy.

dougdirt
07-02-2008, 04:23 PM
Iona said he liked Oaklands track record of developing pitchers.... what track record is he talking about? Who was the last high school/international arm that the A's produced? Jeremy Bonderman, who was in their system for 1 full season? Honest question because I don't know, but I can't think of anyone besides him off of the top of my head. Is someone obvious floating over my head here?

camisadelgolf
07-02-2008, 04:25 PM
I think 'track record' = playing in a pitcher's park on a team near a coast with little star power for him to compete with.

Steve4192
07-02-2008, 04:31 PM
Iona said he liked Oaklands track record of developing pitchers.... what track record is he talking about? Who was the last high school/international arm that the A's produced?

He didn't limit it to international teenage pitchers, so I suspect Hudson, Mulder, Zito, Harden, and to a lesser extent, Haren & Bonderman are the guys he is talking about.

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2008, 04:46 PM
Iona said he liked Oaklands track record of developing pitchers.... what track record is he talking about? Who was the last high school/international arm that the A's produced? Jeremy Bonderman, who was in their system for 1 full season? Honest question because I don't know, but I can't think of anyone besides him off of the top of my head. Is someone obvious floating over my head here?

Mark Mulder
Tim Hudson
Barry Zito
Jeremy Bonderman
Rich Harden
Joe Blanton

Of course all those guys except Bonderman were college guys but when you factor in that Harden was a 17th rounder and Tim Hudson was a 6th rounder it makes it more impressive.

Oxilon
07-02-2008, 04:48 PM
Blanton and Huston Street can be added to that list too. The A's may come away overrated at times when people proclaim them to be the best at producing pitchers from there minors, however, they're still light years ahead of Reds in that aspect, both the present and the past two decades.

camisadelgolf
07-02-2008, 04:50 PM
The Rangers can develop good pitching--they just never realize it until after the pitchers have been traded.

dougdirt
07-02-2008, 05:31 PM
Yeah, I think there is a difference in 'developing' a college starter and developing a high school one/international one. I don't think there is much developing with a college one, just some tweaking here and there. I believe you fully develop 16-19 year old kids through your system. When pitchers are in college, they are taught by different coaches, different things and by the time they get to you, its tough to reteach them... you just try to tweak things here and there. With high school/international kids you generally are teaching them for the first time with advanced coaching.

camisadelgolf
07-02-2008, 05:39 PM
Yeah, I think there is a difference in 'developing' a college starter and developing a high school one/international one. I don't think there is much developing with a college one, just some tweaking here and there. I believe you fully develop 16-19 year old kids through your system. When pitchers are in college, they are taught by different coaches, different things and by the time they get to you, its tough to reteach them... you just try to tweak things here and there. With high school/international kids you generally are teaching them for the first time with advanced coaching.

That's a little bit too much of a blanket statement, don't you think? Obviously, some 19-year-olds require less tweaking to be effective than some 21-year-olds. And not all college pitchers have had experience with advanced coaches. Either way, I think you're right in principle--Inoa is trying to hide his real motive in signing with Oakland.

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2008, 05:39 PM
The Padres had a big day.

Padres Make Splash On July 2

Posted Jul. 2, 2008 12:42 pm by Ben Badler
Filed under: Daily Dish, International

After Michel Inoa, the biggest buzz in Latin America leading up to the beginning of the July 2 international signing period was that the Padres were prepared to spend heavily.

Today, the buzz proved to be correct.

The Padres, who in April opened a new state-of-the-art Dominican academy, announced today that they have signed Venezuelan righthander Adis Portillo, Dominican shortstop Alvaro Aristy, Venezuelan outfielder Luis Domoromo, Dominican righthander Elvin Tavarez and Australian infielder/outfielder Corey Adamson. The signings come one year after the Padres, in their first significant foray into Latin America, handed out six-figure bonuses to a pair of Dominicans, shortstop Jonathan Galvez (Spraut) and outfielder Rymer Liriano.

The Padres had strongly been linked to Portillo, Aristy and Domoromo. International sources have told Baseball America that Portillo, the consensus No. 2 arm available this year after Inoa, likely has signed for a bonus of at least $1.8 million, possibly surpassing the $2 million mark. The Padres did not announce the terms of any bonuses. International scouts said the Phillies were also in heavy pursuit of Portillo.

“One of the most complete pitchers in Latin America with a fastball that has reached 93 (mph), Adis has great mechanics with a strong mound presence and command of three pitches,” said Randy Smith, the Padres director of professional and international scouting.

International scouts believed that the Padres would sign Domoromo for a $1.2 million bonus. Domoromo is a power-hitting outfielder who Smith said “has a sound approach at the plate.”

Aristy, a shortstop who receives more praise for his glove than his bat, was believed to have signed for $1 million.

“We see Alvaro as the best pure shortstop in Latin America, both with his defensive ability along with his consistency at the plate,” Smith said.

Tavarez, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound 16-year-old from San Pedro de Macoris, was another prospect on international scouts’ radars this year.

“Elvin is a well-built righthander with a fastball that reaches 90 and a good rotation on his curveball,” Smith said.

Adamson is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound 16-year-old played in Major League Baseball’s Australian Baseball Academy. One international source reached today said he believed Adamson would sign for a mid six-figure bonus.

“Corey is one of the best athletes to come out of Australia in recent history,” Smith said. “He is a five-tool player with plus speed."

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1268

dougdirt
07-02-2008, 05:41 PM
That's a little bit too much of a blanket statement, don't you think? Obviously, some 19-year-olds require less tweaking to be effective than some 21-year-olds. And not all college pitchers have had experience with advanced coaches. Either way, I think you're right in principle--Inoa is trying to hide his real motive in signing with Oakland.

Slightly blanketed yes, but overall I feel thats how it goes.... especially when we are talking about guys signing for the big bucks.

Grande Donkey
07-02-2008, 06:17 PM
So have the Reds not signed anyone today or has the news just not been made public?

OnBaseMachine
07-02-2008, 06:18 PM
SaberScouting is supposed to release some more stuff later.

klw
07-02-2008, 07:32 PM
I'll come right out and say it. I am glad he turned the Reds down.

He would have been a colossal bust if the Reds had signed him to a major league contract. There is about a 1% chance he will be ready to stick in the majors by the time he is 20 years old. Those are just some horrible odds no matter how talented the kid is.

Well if it reached that point I'm sure they could have reworked his contract to keep him in the minors.

11larkin11
07-03-2008, 12:30 AM
OBM, someone on SaberScouting is reporting we have signed a SS from Bani, DR. Any clue who that is?

OnBaseMachine
07-03-2008, 01:27 AM
OBM, someone on SaberScouting is reporting we have signed a SS from Bani, DR. Any clue who that is?

Yep. I just saw that. I'll try to find more info.

Steve4192
07-03-2008, 01:46 AM
Well if it reached that point I'm sure they could have reworked his contract to keep him in the minors.

Not an option.

Once a team gives a player a major league contract, you can't renegotiate them out of it without exposing them to waivers.

OnBaseMachine
07-03-2008, 01:50 AM
The Reds signed a SS from Bani, DR for $300,000 dollars. That's all the information I've got right now.

westofyou
07-03-2008, 10:31 AM
Not an option.

Once a team gives a player a major league contract, you can't renegotiate them out of it without exposing them to waivers.

http://www.mlb.com/images/2005/04/20/tDIDkmVb.jpg

Lockdwn11
07-03-2008, 12:05 PM
16 year-old Dominican righty Michel Inoa turned down a $5MM Major League deal from the Reds and a $5.2MM bonus from the Rangers to sign for $4.25MM with the A's. It takes more than just money with these international free agents. Reds and Rangers fans should at least be pleased with the effort. By the way, the A's are encouraging Inoa to go by Michael instead of Michel.


http://mlbtr.blogs.sportsline.com/mcc/blogs/view/8691437

OnBaseMachine
07-03-2008, 05:03 PM
Inoa becomes a sign of the times

By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports 4 hours, 2 minutes ago

Yahoo! Sports

Baseball evolved Wednesday. The little guys, the teams that for so many years cried poor, won by spending money. And the recipients of that largess, 16-year-old boys from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, ones who grew up in the third world, are the forbearers for a striking change in the sport.

In recent years, the best players in Latin America have gravitated toward the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, the teams that could afford to flash Costanza wallets loaded with cash. Baseball’s continued economic boom, amazing amid the country’s downturn, has infused so much money into the game that no longer is pricey amateur talent simply the domain of the big boys.

Oakland – low-revenue Oakland, immortalized in the book “Moneyball,” about winning with a scrimp-and-save payroll – signed a 16-year-old named Michel Inoa on Wednesday. Along with his $4.25 million bonus, Inoa got an Anglicized name, Michael, and a ticket to the Dominican Summer League, where he can add weight to his lithe 6-foot-7 frame, throw his 94-mph fastball, unleash his polished breaking ball and work on his changeup.

“Most 16-year-olds are in 10th grade,” said Chris Buckley, the Cincinnati Reds’ scouting director. “This guy compares very favorably to the top high school pitchers in this year’s draft. No. He’s probably more impressive.”

Disappointment tinged Buckley’s voice. He had visited the Dominican three times to watch Inoa pitch. Cincinnati – low-revenue Cincinnati, immortalized by former owner Marge Schott’s penny pinching, and only recently willing to loosen the purse strings under owner Bob Castellini – reportedly offered Inoa about $5 million. Inoa preferred Oakland’s track record of developing pitchers, and it didn’t hurt that A’s owner Lew Wolff and general manager Billy Beane commissioned a private plane to the Dominican for a meet and greet several weeks before the July 2 signing date.

The meeting convinced Oakland to shatter signing-bonus records for a Latino amateur not from Cuba. It’s been nearly a decade since the Yankees gave outfielder Wily Mo Peña a $2.44 million bonus and seven years since the Dodgers gave infielder Joel Guzman $2.25 million. The top bonuses each year since have vacillated between $1 million and $2 million.

So to see Inoa’s bonus, and the $2 million Cincinnati gave Dominican prospect Juan Duran in March, and the $5 million the San Diego Padres – low-revenue San Diego, consistently in the bottom third of major-league payroll – spent Wednesday to sign four Latin players and one Australian – well, it’s not just unprecedented. It turns on its head the way baseball has operated, and while there’s trepidation about bonuses spinning out of control, there’s more celebration that the Little Sisters of the Poor are throwing around money like Pacman Jones at the club.

“Large shifts always cause us some concern,” said Rob Manfred, baseball’s head labor lawyer. “But these are individual club decisions at the end of the day. The best we can do is educate people as to the relative risks and rewards and the various talent-acquisition modes. You have to get your talent somewhere.”

Today, Latin America is that place. It’s a continuous gold rush, because players are renewable resources. All 30 teams have a presence there for a good reason: nearly 30 percent of major-league players are Latino, and that number only figures to rise, so long as bargains can be had.

And, yes, Inoa at $4.25 million is a relative deal. Suppose he were born Michael Inoa, raised in California, scouted throughout his high school career, coveted ravenously and picked at the top of the MLB draft. Inoa would command a bonus far greater than the one he received from Oakland.

“Look how far this is from your ‘Moneyball’ theories a couple years ago,” Buckley said. “They were drafting all college pitchers. And now who’s the team that got the 16-year-old? Oakland.”

Buckley understands that it’s not so much a philosophy change by the A’s but a continuation of the lesson “Moneyball” taught: Oakland always tries to capitalize in efficient markets, and high-end Latino talent qualifies. One of Beane’s former lieutenants, San Diego assistant GM Paul DePodesta, called Wednesday “a monumental day for the Padres” on his blog. Buckley, months later, continues to celebrate the signing for the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Duran.

“We recognize how difficult it is to compete on major-league free agents dollar for dollar,” Buckley said. “We’re trying to level the playing field.”

Which, too, is the intent of MLB. The words competitive balance bring a twinkle to Commissioner Bud Selig’s eyes, and with it extending beyond the big-league clubhouses and into farm systems, baseball is pleased that so many teams are trying to build from the bottom up.

“We believe focusing on entry-level talent is the most efficient way to make yourself competitive,” Manfred said. “It’s the best competitive strategy, particularly for smaller-revenue clubs. We think that’s a very good thing.”

It shouldn’t stop, either. Even though San Diego ranks 18th in revenue, Cincinnati 21st and Oakland 24th, according to Forbes, each will continue perusing Latin America in hopes that the Yankees and Red Sox and Mets and Dodgers don’t start emptying their bank accounts.

“Tomorrow,” Buckley said, “we’ll start looking for some new (players).”

August should be a good test. A 15-year-old named Yorman Rodriguez, from Venezuela, celebrates his birthday that month. He’s supposed to be the next Miguel Cabrera. And two executives said they believe he has already agreed to a deal with Cincinnati. The Yankees keep pushing, though, sweetening their offer, doing anything to change the trend that could so affect them.

Evolution, ever slow, came on faster than they realized.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-inoa070308&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

NorrisHopper30
07-03-2008, 06:05 PM
Nice read

lollipopcurve
07-03-2008, 08:34 PM
someone on SaberScouting is reporting we have signed a SS from Bani, DR. Any clue who that is?

BA is reporting the kid's name is Junior Arias. The little blurb sounds solid -- good hands, good athlete, good short stroke at the plate.

OnBaseMachine
07-03-2008, 08:44 PM
BA is reporting the kid's name is Junior Arias. The little blurb sounds solid -- good hands, good athlete, good short stroke at the plate.

Yep. I like it. Draft your big hitters and sign your shortstops from Venezuela or the Dominican.

Here is the writeup:

The Reds signed Dominican shortstop Junior Arias, a strong, high-waisted athlete.

"He's a good-looking kid," one scout said last week. "He's got good hands, he's a good athlete and he's got good body control. He's a line-drive hitter—it's a short stroke to the ball."

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2008/266438.html

AmarilloRed
07-04-2008, 11:25 PM
Inoa preferred Oakland’s track record of developing pitchers, and it didn’t hurt that A’s owner Lew Wolff and general manager Billy Beane commissioned a private plane to the Dominican for a meet and greet several weeks before the July 2 signing date.

Unless we can get some coaches and managers in our system who can develop young pitchers, Inoa will not be the last to refuse to sign with Cincinnati.

GoReds33
07-04-2008, 11:48 PM
Unless we can get some coaches and managers in our system who can develop young pitchers, Inoa will not be the last to refuse to sign with Cincinnati.You are correct, but atleast the organization saw the shortfall in coaching and tried to compensate that with more money. It seems like the team knows it's own weaknesses, and is working to correct them.

For years we wouldn't have gotten a second look from this guy, so I really love the way this team is moving.

NorrisHopper30
07-05-2008, 12:17 AM
How highly rated was Arias? How much did we pay?

OnBaseMachine
07-05-2008, 01:33 AM
How highly rated was Arias? How much did we pay?

$300,000.

LoganBuck
07-05-2008, 08:05 AM
That is still alot of money for a Latin player. He should be worth keeping an eye on.

camisadelgolf
07-06-2008, 06:18 AM
$300,000.

Just to keep things in perspective of how highly the Reds think of the kid, Neftali Soto, the Reds' 3rd round draft pick from 2007, got a $279,000 signing bonus. In other words, the Reds basically got an extra 3rd round draft pick.

OnBaseMachine
07-06-2008, 12:09 PM
The Rangers were not at all happy about losing out on 16-year-old Dominican right-hander Michael Inoa to the A’s last week, and not just because Inoa cited Oakland’s better pitching-development program as his reason for signing with them.

The Rangers felt like the A’s, who gave Inoa a $4.25 million signing bonus, most ever to a non-Cuban pitcher from Latin America, violated the rules by cutting an early deal with the 6-foot-7, 205-pounder.

According to MLB rules, teams are not even allowed to discuss money with players before the July 2 deadline. The Rangers were prepared to offer a larger signing bonus — well over $5 million, according to some reports — and word on the street is that afterward Inoa’s agent told a Rangers official that they would have taken the bigger deal if they had known it was coming and hadn’t already committed to the A’s.

If that’s true, then the deal was always more about money than about pitcher-development reputations. The Rangers had the same scout who signed Edinson Volquez, the hottest Latin American pitcher in the majors, on the case.

The Rangers had been scouting Inoa for more than two years and felt like they knew him as well or better than any team out there.

Inoa is supposed to be the real deal, and some scouts believe he’s the best Latin American pitching prospect to come along since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez.

MLB generally ignores Latin American rules violations, but there are whispers that it may look into the A’s signing of Inoa.

http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/columnists/jim_reeves/story/743276.html

RedlegJake
07-06-2008, 12:33 PM
The Rangers were not at all happy about losing out on 16-year-old Dominican right-hander Michael Inoa to the A’s last week, and not just because Inoa cited Oakland’s better pitching-development program as his reason for signing with them.

The Rangers felt like the A’s, who gave Inoa a $4.25 million signing bonus, most ever to a non-Cuban pitcher from Latin America, violated the rules by cutting an early deal with the 6-foot-7, 205-pounder.

According to MLB rules, teams are not even allowed to discuss money with players before the July 2 deadline. The Rangers were prepared to offer a larger signing bonus — well over $5 million, according to some reports — and word on the street is that afterward Inoa’s agent told a Rangers official that they would have taken the bigger deal if they had known it was coming and hadn’t already committed to the A’s.

If that’s true, then the deal was always more about money than about pitcher-development reputations. The Rangers had the same scout who signed Edinson Volquez, the hottest Latin American pitcher in the majors, on the case.

The Rangers had been scouting Inoa for more than two years and felt like they knew him as well or better than any team out there.

Inoa is supposed to be the real deal, and some scouts believe he’s the best Latin American pitching prospect to come along since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez.

MLB generally ignores Latin American rules violations, but there are whispers that it may look into the A’s signing of Inoa.

http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/columnists/jim_reeves/story/743276.html

Just like the Reds who supposedly have an agreement in place with Yorman R but can't reveal it til after he is of age. These rules get skirted all the time. Unless it's a blatant infraction, like him actually signing before the signing date, nothing will be done.

jojo
07-11-2008, 08:47 AM
Here's an interesting read on Inoa at baseball prospectus from the As player development perspective:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7782