Latest Pirates Buzz
Day 1: International Free Agency Buzz
By John Perrotto
The first day major-league clubs could sign international amateur free agents came and went with the Pirates still waiting to see if they will land their primary target.
Miguel Sano, the greatly hyped 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic, did not sign Thursday and is not expected to make his decision until sometime this weekend.
The Pirates are still considered the favorites to sign the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder, though the Minnesota Twins are also expected to make a significant bid.
There has also been speculation the Baltimore Orioles could make an offer to Sano for as much as $5 million. The record bonus for an international amateur is the $4.25 that the Oakland Athletics paid pitcher Michael Ynoa last year.
The Pirates are also making a strong bid to sign Dominican right-hander
GianCarlos Santana, younger brother of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ervin Santana. In recent workouts, Santana’s fastball has been clocked at 91 mph after normally sitting in the 85-88 range throughout the spring.
Santana is now looking for more than his original asking price of $75,000, which is why he did not sign Thursday.
Kansas City is considered the Pirates’ biggest competition for Santana.
The Pirates did sign three teenagers from Taiwan on Thursday: right-hander Sheng-Cin Hong and outfielder Ping-Hung Chi, a pair of 18-year-olds from Hsi Yuan High School; and first baseman Chih-Wei Hsu, a 17-year-old from Kuang Fu High School.
All three will begin their professional careers at Major League Baseball’s Australian academy.