The Orioles’ dive into the international market deepened Friday with the announcement they’ve signed seven prospects out of the Dominican Republic.
The signings of third baseman Albert Calderón; shortstop José Cosma; outfielder Ronnie Martínez; and right-handed pitchers Yonatan Pineda, Christopher Ramírez, Rafael Ramírez, and Luis Sánchez are for a total of $850,000, per a source with knowledge of the situation, with Martínez leading the way at $235,000. Sánchez ($200,000), Cosma ($170,000) and Rafael Ramírez ($110,000) also received six-figure bonuses, of which the Orioles have now given out 21 this year.
Cosma will still profile offensively should he eventually need to move to third base, the source said, while Calderón’s left-handed bat comes with upside. Sánchez has hit 93 mph on the mound.
The seven signings add to a 27-player international class announced July 2, the first day of this signing period. Under executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and senior director of international scouting Koby Perez, the Orioles have steered sharply toward the international market, an area generally ignored under the previous front office regime. Of their $6.48 million pool, the Orioles have spent $4.9 million.
With work signing young international players usually starting years in advance of when teams are officially able to do so, the Orioles are looking down the line to be among the top teams in the market while continuing to stockpile talent in upcoming years.
“We should be signing some of those top guys in 2021,” Perez recently told The Baltimore Sun. “We have a lot of work done with some 2021 players that we feel that we are the front-runners to sign.”