Big Lead Sports Bar

8/19/2010

Pirates to Give $2.6 Million to Luis Heredia



As expected, the Pirates are finalizing a deal today for Luis Heredia, the 16-year-old pitcher from the Mexican Baseball League.

Dejan Kovacevic reports that the bonus that will be given to Heredia is $2.6 million, a franchise record for an international amateur player. In Mexico, the bonus is split 75/25...in favor of the team. Who negotiated that deal? If that's the case, Heredia will actually receive about $650K for his part. 

The Pirates' previous record for such a signing was a laughable $400,000 given to Venezuelan OF Exicardo Cayones in July 2008. As Joe Starkey points out in the Trib today, the Boston Red Sox committed $12.55 million to two international prospects in the past 11 months — 19-year-old Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias and 23-year-old Cuban catcher Adalberto Ibarra. So let's not hurt ourselves patting Neal Huntington and Bob Nutting on the back just yet. The international market, like the draft and free agency, is merely a part of doing business as a Major League Baseball franchise.

Again, I hate to reiterate this point, but international players make up 40% of MLB rosters. Signing a player like Heredia is exactly the kind of move this team should have been making years ago. Being competitive on a budget is so much more than the draft; the international market is a worldwide resource that the Pirates have not taken proper advantage of for a very long time. That being said, I'm glad the lightbulb finally went off over at Pirate HQ. Give Huntington credit for making a move that none of his predecessors were able to pull off.

Heredia, who goes 6'6", 185 pounds, has a fastball in the 92-93 mph range and four other pitches. It sounds as if he will be reporting to Bradenton once the deal is done as opposed to heading to the team's Dominican Academy.

With Heredia, Jameson Taillon, and Stetson Allie, the Pirates now have three legitimate, high-ceiling pitching prospects, although they are all a long way off from helping at the Major League level. I'm not buying any 2015 World Series tickets yet, but I must say that the Bucs now have three more legitimate pitching prospects than they had at the beginning of the week, and that in no way is a bad thing.

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11 comments:

Scott said...

I would love to have seen Miguel Sano in our farm system, but that's all water under the bridge today. Would have been nice since we really don't have a legit middle infield prospect.

I agree this is a pretty decent win for the FO that will be roundly ignored by the bashers. Five pitches and a 16-year-old who already hits 92mph. Nice right now, but we'll see how long it takes to get him ready.

Honestly, the farm system may be at the highest level it has been for a LONG time. Even when the Pirates were winning the Eastern Division, they really didn't have many options in the minors. Remember when they would call up Will Pennyfeather or Scott Bullet? Ugh.

Papa Eo said...

Incredible Pennyfeather reference. Absolutely fantastic.

Giles said...

Heredia's bonus is tied for the fifth highest ever given by any team to an international amateur player. Champan and the two guys signed by the Red Sox were signed as international free agents, which is a totally different process and pay scale.

AJ said...

Excited to have a 16 year old that can toss in the 90s, but I think the Spanish pronunciation is: CirugĂ­a Tommy John

Scott said...

Its tough to win with a rotation full of soft tossers. It will be nice to see some power arms come up through the system.

Steve said...

16 huh...well that's still young enough to have coach Buttermaker icing his elbow in a tub of cold beers. Did they find this kid on the sidewalk selling maps to homes of the stars?

To bad the "all we got on this team are a bunch of..." Tanner quote would be too politically incorrect. Funny as hell though. I wonder which player would be the booger-eatin' moron?

Seriously though, 2018 can't get here soon enough and maybe by then I won't need viagra to get a hard on about this team.

Adam said...

So is that the company line now? Just back handed insults when the Pirates do what they're supposed to do?

Steve said...

Like I always say: "If you can't take a joke..."

Clint Pitts said...

When you say that do you normally leave out the punch line? I don't think I've heard that saying before so I really want to know the last part.

Jon said...

He was not an amature. He played for a professional team in Mexico. That team recieved 75% of his signing bonus for the Pirates to get his rights.

Steve Shoup said...

While Heredia was on a Professional Mexican team he should still be considered an "amateur" for one thing he just turned 16, and had just signed with them I believe in January. They signed him solely so that they could eventually sell him to a team like the Pirates. From what I've read he has only been pitching exhibition games and limited work so as to not overuse him.

Heredia is a much safer signing than a Venezuelan or Dominican player (not saying to ignore those areas, just that this is much more likely to be fruitful). He is more refined and polished than the majority of those international amateur free agents. And while yes the Pirates should be signing a guy like this every year, you got to remember that the majority of international players in the big leagues didn't sign for 7 figures.