Pirates, Twins, Orioles have made offers
Major League Baseball has continued their age and indentity investigation regarding top Dominican prospect Miguel Sano, which has put the Pirates in a holding pattern in trying to sign Sano.
If Sano is found to be lying about his age, he will receive an automatic one year suspension but the Pirates are confident that the situation will be resolved by the end of the week and they will be able to move forward in their pursuit of Sano.
It remains to be seen whether Sano will receive offers in excess of the $4.25 million Dominican pitcher Michael Ynoa received from the Oakland Athletics last year. That is the largest bonus ever given to a foreign amateur free agent.
Some scouts believe the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Sano is the best teenager from the Dominican Republic in more than a decade.
A scout from a major-league club who watched Sano work out in recent months told TIOPS Baseball Insider John Perrotto, “This guy is going to be a big-time hitter in the major leagues, a potential superstar, He’s a lot stronger than most Latin American kids and the ball jumps off his bat. He has other tools, too, but the bat is very special.”
With the investigation on-going, a bidding war has not begun for Sano’s services. The Pirates have been hot after Sano for months and many Dominican insiders believe they have the edge because Latin American scouting coordinator Rene Guyo has forged a strong relationship with his family.
The Twins and Pirates have made offers in the
$3 million range but reportedly the Twins may be moving on. The Orioles are believed to have made an offer in the $2.6 – $3 million range and reportedly have met with Sano on numerous occassions over the past week.
The Pirates are believed to have set aside enough money to make an offer upwards of $4 million, if need be. For now the Pirates are taking a conservative approach.
For the Pirates, they believe Sano could be the cornerstone right handed bat they have coveted to team with Pedro Alvarez in the future. Many scouts believe Sano will reach the major leagues by age 19 or 20.
Considering he is 16, Sano is likely to continuing growing and be forced to move from shortstop. However, he has superior arm strength, which leads many scouts to believe he could be a Gold Glove-caliber defender at third base or right field. Because he has above-average range, some scouts project him as a major-league center fielder.
The Pirates, though, want to sign Sano in the worst way in their efforts to become major players in Latin America after opening a new $5-million academy in the Dominican at the end of April.
As Pirates’ front-office type said, “It would make a major impact down there as far as our reputation if we could get this kid to sign.”