Pirates Notebook: Record offer unlikely for Sano
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Do not expect the Pirates to shatter Major League Baseball's record bonus to sign elite Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano.
The team remains intensely interested in Sano, a 16-year-old shortstop/outfielder, and the same is known to be true in the reverse, as Sano, his family and agent Rob Plummer have forged a tight relationship with Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo. But there were strong indications from the team's front office yesterday that the $4.25 million bonus Oakland gave to Dominican pitcher Michael Inoa will not be the bar for an offer to Sano.
Rather, the Pirates plan to place a value on Sano as they do all players, by talent level -- which the team views as special -- and by the market. The Dominican market for 16-year-olds, as they see it, remains below the outlier bonus the Athletics gave Inoa, as the previous range for elite prospects had been mostly between $2 million and $3 million.
The Pirates would not need any financial infusion to produce a competitive offer for Sano, given that they spent $9.8 million on the amateur draft last year and surely will not rival that figure in the draft next week, given that no talent comparable to Pedro Alvarez will be available when they pick at No. 4 overall. Alvarez, No. 2 overall, took up $6.355 million of the total draft budget, and the recommended slot for No. 4 this year will be an estimated $2.5 million.
The first day that 16-year-old international prospects -- who, essentially, are free agents -- can sign is July 2.