Seattle has been quiet on the free agent and trade front so far this offseason, but the Mariners made a big splash in the international prospect market yesterday by signing 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero for $2.9 million.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America that represents the highest signing bonus given to an international prospect this year, topping the $2.8 million Venezuelan pitcher Adonis Cardona received from the Blue Jays in July, and is the fourth-highest total of all time behind Michael Ynoa, Miguel Sano, and Gary Sanchez.
Seattle previously handed out a $2.2 million bonus to Dominican outfielder Phillips Castillo in July, so while their major-league team disappointed in a big way this year the Mariners are making a huge effort to beef up their farm system.
Badler reports that Peguero is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop with “good bat speed” who’s likely to move to second or third base eventually. He also offers up some video of Peguero in action and Baseball America has a more in-depth scouting report as well.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.