Now that the dust has settled after the opening day of MLB's 2024 international signing period, we can take a step back, take a breath, survey the landscape around the NL East and see how the Philadelphia Phillies' division rivals fared on the first day of the international free agent market.
For their part, the Phillies added one of MLB Pipeline's Top 50 international prospects, Jalvin Arias, out of the Dominican Republic. Ranked as the No. 19 prospect and the seventh-overall outfielder, the Phillies got a player with a lot of upside. The 17-year-old is touted as a smooth-fielding outfielder with a big 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame who already has gap-to-gap power with plenty of potential for over-the-fence pop.
So, how did the rest of the NL East do with their signings?
How did the Atlanta Braves do on international signing day?
The Phillies' biggest nemesis currently, the Atlanta Braves, also only made a deal with one Top 50 international prospect on Monday. However, the difference is $3.6 million and 16 spots in the prospect rankings.
The Braves agreed to terms with shortstop Jose Perdomo out of Venezuela, Pipeline's No. 3 prospect. General manager Alex Anthopolous forked over $5 million of their $5.284 million signing pool to secure the 17-year-old and add "... one of the purest hitters in this year’s international market to their organization," according to Pipeline.
Perdomo already has above-average bat-to-ball skills, makes hard contact and doesn't strikeout very often, and always puts the ball in play.
How did the New York Mets do on international signing day?
The New York Mets came to play this year with their $5.284 million base signing pool. Three of the 20 players signed on Monday rank in Pipeline's Top 50 prospects. Plus, they signed Vladi Miguel Guerrero, son of Vladimir Guerrero Sr.
The Mets top get, however, was Pipeline's No. 6 prospect, catcher Yovanny Rodriguez from Venezuela, who agreed to $2.85 million. They also nabbed the No. 31 prospect, shortstop Yensi Rivas from the Dominican for $500,000, and No. 41 Edward Lantigua, a Dominican outfielder, for $950,000
According to Pipeline's scouting report, "Rodriguez has a chance to become the best player in this class ... an advanced catching prospect with some pop and skills, Rodriguez has the potential to be a star on both sides of the ball."
How did the Miami Marlins do on international signing day?
While the Braves and Mets may have outshined the Phillies on day one, the Miami Marlins also only added one Top 50 prospect on Monday, signing the No. 21 prospect Luis Cova. The Venezuelan outfielder agreed to a deal for $1.4 million of the Marlins' $6.52 million signing pool. In total, Miami signed 21 players.
While just behind the Phillies' No. 19 pick, Cova is "one of the best pure athletes in this year’s international market," per Pipeline. The former shortstop jumped out to scouts after moving to the outfield, boasts a plus-plus run tool, and already has good instincts and routes in the outfield.
How did the Washington Nationals do on international signing day?
The Washington Nationals signed a pair of players from the same range as the Phillies and Marlins, agreeing to deals with the No. 20 and No. 23 prospects on the board. Outfielder Victor Hurtado, the No. 20 prospect, signed for $2.8 million of the Nationals' $5.284 pool. The No. 23 ranked prospect, third baseman Angel Feliz, signed for $1.7 million.
Per Pipeline, the 16-year-old Hurtado is an advanced hitter and scouts see the upside for him to be a significant offensive contributor. Feliz, 17, already has a solid approach and good timing at the plate.
It's no secret that while fun and exciting, these international signings don't mean much to the current teams on the diamond. Most players won't even play stateside this year and are still years away from getting a shot at the big leagues, if they ever do.