Phillies open international free agency with a bang, signing top outfield prospect

The Phillies are expected to sign top Dominican outfield prospect Jalvin Arias today.
Philadelphia Phillies signing top international outfield prospect Jalvin Arias
Philadelphia Phillies signing top international outfield prospect Jalvin Arias / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The 2024 international signing period opens on Jan. 15, and with that will come a flurry of activity and signings of international amateur free agent prospects. The signing period runs until Dec. 15, and while other signings will take place throughout the year, most will happen right away.

The Phillies have made a strong impression in the international prospects market in recent years with the signings of shortstops Starlyn Caba, now one of the team's top prospects, and William Bergolla.

This year, the Phillies' base signing pool is $4,652,200 after the team forfeited $1 million for signing Trea Turner after he rejected a qualifying offer last offseason. The organization can't exceed that amount, but signings under $10,000 don't count against the pool.

Although the official signing period opens today, teams will usually have unofficial agreements in place with players for months, if not years, beforehand. The Phillies are expected to sign one of the top outfield international prospects from the Dominican Republic, along with a handful of other young players.

Here's a list of the players the Phillies are expected to sign, courtesy of Phillies Tailgate on X. You can find a full, free international signings tracker over at Baseball America.

Phillies set to sign top OF prospect Jalvin Arias

The top international signing for the Phillies this period will add to the organization's outfield prospect ranks. Jalvin Arias is MLB Pipeline's No. 19 international prospect and the seventh overall outfield prospect.

The Phillies have reportedly agreed to a $1.4 million deal with the 17-year-old, according to Pipeline.

Arias already stands 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 210 pounds. The right-handed hitting outfielder possesses an "explosive uppercut swing that plays well alongside his idea of what he wants to do at the plate," according to Pipeline's scouting report. Already with gap-to-gap power, the Phillies hope his offensive upside leads to more over-the-fence power as he matures.

Defensively, the right-handed throwing Arias looks to have average arm strength, but shows smooth defensive movements in the outfield.

Arias, like most young international prospects will begin his Phillies career with a season in the Dominican Summer League before heading stateside to play in Florida.

Phillies expected to sign a potential breakout prospect

The Phillies are also expected to sign a handful of other players, including catcher Cesar Mujica from Venezuela, pitcher Julio Polanco Jr. out of the Dominican Republic, catcher Anderson Nava from Venezuela, outfielder Winifer Castillo from the Dominican, and catcher Yadimir Fuentes from Cuba.

Baseball America ranks Mujica as the No. 58 international prospect (subscription required), while the other expected Phillies signings don't break the Top 100. Interestingly, Nava, a 6-foot-4 catcher from Venezuela, is touted as a potential breakout prospect (subscription required) by Baseball America and boasts a phenomenal 70-grade throwing arm.

The Phillies added to their day-one signings with Mailerson Casanova, an infielder from the Dominican Republic.

Here's a complete list of the Phillies' first-day signings:
Jalvin Arias, OF, Dominican Republic ($1.4 million)
Cesar Mujica, C, Venezuela ($700,000)
Jose Familia, SS, Dominican Republic ($600,000)
Edward Florentino, OF, Dominican Republic ($395,000)
Julio Polanco Jr., RHP, Dominican Republic
Anderson Navas, C, Venezuela
Winifer Castillo, OF, Dominican Republic
Yadimir Fuentes, C, Cuba
Jorge Guzman, LHP, Mexico
Mailerson Casanova, OF, Dominican Republic
Ibrahim Ruiz, OF, Venezuela
Josueth Quiñonez, OF, Venezuela
Cristobal Bena, SS, Dominican Republic
David Freitas, OF, Venezuela
Rene Yrish, RHP, Dominican Republic

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