The Oakland A’s have made a mark on the international prospect community over the years. That may continue during the next signing period.
Cuban pitching prospect Luis Morales was declared an international free agent on Thursday. While he will be eligible to sign as of September 7, he is expected to wait until the next signing period begins in January. According to Kiley McDaniel from ESPN, once that happens, the A’s are considered the favorites to land his services.
Luis Morales could be Oakland A’s next big international prospect
If that happens, Morales could end up receiving a record signing bonus. As McDaniel noted, the largest bonus for a pitcher in the pool era (2017 onward) was $2.61 million, which the Rays handed to Sandy Gaston. Morales should command more than that amount.
One can understand why teams would be high on the 19 year old Cuban righty. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, has been clocked as high as 97 MPH, and has the potential to be a plus offering. His low 80s curve is also considered a potential plus pitch in the future. Morales also features a slider that could be a solid offering down the line as well.
At the same time, Morales is far from a finished talent. He will need to spend time in the minors to polish his command and refine his arsenal. Improved coaching, as well as adding strength to his frame, should allow his velocity to increase and his stuff to get that much better.
He would also be another to international prospect to sign with the A’s. They may not spend on their major league payroll, but they have been a force in the international community since they were the surprising winners in the Yoenis Cespedes Sweepstakes. Morales would be yet another feather in their cap.
The Oakland A’s are expected to be the favorites for Cuban prospect Luis Morales. He could be their next big international signing.