Dodgers Score Big With International Free Agent Signings

The Dodgers have always been known as one of the biggest and most formidable players in the international free agent market, and 2022 is no exception.

In 2021, the signing period began on January 15 and ran through December. The same rules apply to this year. Prior to the pandemic, the signing period didn’t begin until July.

Some of the game’s biggest stars today — like Ronald Acuna Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. — were all signed as international free agents.

Some of the big international scores for the Dodgers in the past include Yasiel Puig, Kenley Jansen, Adrian Beltre, Fernando Valenzuela, Hideo Nomo, Raul Mondesi and two brothers named Pedro and Ramon. And let’s not forget that the Dodgers signed Roberto Clemente as a free agent out of Puerto Rico in 1954 before losing him to Branch Rickey, who worked for the Pirates at the time, not long after.

Regardless, the Dodgers landed 17-year-old outfielder Samuel Munoz out of the Dominican Republic, who ranks seventh in the international class, and 17-year-old righty pitcher Accimias Morales out of Venezuela, who ranks 37th, as their biggest signings this year.

According to Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com, “The 6-foot-2 Munoz is a left-handed-hitting infielder with an advanced approach at the plate and tons of power projection. He already shows an above-average ability to barrel up the baseball to all fields. Scouts believe that ability will translate into homers and more power as he fills out his large and developing frame.”

Sanchez adds that Munoz has plus arm strength and could develop as a prospective third baseman down the road.

As for the 6-foot-4 Morales, Sanchez says he is “large and durable with plus command potential with all three of his pitches. He’s athletic, features a repeatable delivery and has a presence on the mound. His fastball has been clocked at 93 mph, and he throws a hard slider with a sharp break and a changeup with lots of movement.”

At the time of this writing, the Dodgers have signed 30 players since the beginning of the period on Saturday. The team hasn’t yet made any announcements about the signing bonus amounts, but we do know that the Dodgers have a signing pool of $4,644,000. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count towards the pool money.

13 thoughts on “Dodgers Score Big With International Free Agent Signings

  1. Once they release the signing amounts, it will be interesting to see if they used just about every penny they had or if there’s a little bit left in case they find a hidden gem someplace.

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      1. Bauer is going to win 12 this year. 12 what you ask? Months suspension? Years? Games? Dollars with Scratch-offs? I don’t know, I just see the number 12 when I look into my crystal ball. I have one you know. It’s a little smaller than a baseball. I have to be careful with it. It was a gift from a shaman and it’s quite powerful.

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      2. Should have spent what they had getting Soto’s little brother, the Nats grabbed him. Best chance they have for signing Juan is having little bro in the organization. He is at the stadium at every event and game with Juan.

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  2. There’s a fair amount of evidence that Munoz is a right handed hitting infielder who previously played the outfield and switch hit. Just for clarity…..

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  3. Is it possible that MLB suspends Baur for one year (161 Games) without pay but makes it retroactive to include time he was on administrative leave last season? That would be fair to the Dodgers, minimize Baur’s ability to sue and would allow the team to attempt to trade him; which is something both parties appear to want.

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    1. I would say that scenario is definitely possible.
      Of course, it’s also possible that we’re still having this conversation a year from now and Manfred hasn’t made a decision yet.
      If the D.A. still hasn’t made a decision, MLB might just continue on with the paid suspension from last year.
      Even though I have no reason to suspect he has a vendetta against Dodger management, it sure seems like he’s going out of his way to make AF twist in the wind. Bauer’s salary or lack thereof has a real effect on what he can do with his roster this year.

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  4. From everything I’ve read, MLB is not going to announce, or do anything, until the DA makes a decision to prosecute Bauer, or not.

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  5. With Munoz being only 17, where does he play this coming season, do the teams play them in rookie ball, or do they have the kids play in a league in another country?

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    1. Munoz plus most of the rest of the kids they signed will probably wind up at their Dominican Republic academy this year and quite possibly next year as well, depending on their progress. From the DR they might be moved to Arizona for a year of competition there in the Arizona Complex League. The Dodgers have been fielding two teams in the DR league and two in the Az league for the past couple of years. The next step up from Az would be Rancho Cucamonga but I don’t expect to see any of these kids there until they’re 19 at the earliest.

      Dodgers signed a 23 year old right handed pitcher by the name of Matsuda today. He’s been clocked at 96 mph and had been pitching in a Japanese independent league. Didn’t even know they had any indy leagues over there. So if he wasn’t even on a major Japanese team this might never amount to anything, but you never know. Also, he had TJ last July so probably won’t even pitch this year. The long arm of Dodger scouting stretches far and wide.

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