Padres sign 16-year-old catching prospect Salas for $5.6M

Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v San Diego Padres - Game One
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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres signed 16-year-old catcher Ethan Salas of Caracas, Venezuela, to a $5.6 million bonus on Sunday, the first day of the international signing period.

Salas is the consensus top overall prospect in this year’s class. The left-handed hitter is the younger brother of Jose Salas, one of the top prospects in the Miami Marlins system.

The Salas brothers have a long pedigree. Their father, Jose Antonio, played in the Atlanta Braves` organization; their uncle, Jose Gregorio, played in the Toronto Blue Jays` system; and their grandfather, Jose Gregorio, played in the Houston Astros’ and Kansas City Royals’ systems.

According to scouting reports, Salas has raw power at the plate and strong defensive skills.

Also Sunday, the Washington Nationals signed outfielder Elian Soto, the 17-year-old brother of Padres right fielder Juan Soto. The Nationals traded Juan Soto to the Padres in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2.

The Texas Rangers signed outfielder Pablo Guerrero, the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and younger brother of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”