Today is the start of the 2019-2020 international signing period and the Cincinnati Reds are acting like they just got a big inheritance and they are going out and spending it like crazy. And really, they sort of did. After going big on the Cuban market in 2016-2076, they have had to essentially sit out of the market in each of the last two seasons – unable to sign any single player for more than $300,000. They didn’t even sign anyone for $200,000 in that time frame.

The first day of signings hasn’t even hit noon yet and the Reds have already locked up a pair of 7-figure signings. The biggest one is shortstop Braylin Minier, who reportedly signed with the organization for $1.8M. They’ve also signed Cuban infielder Michel Triana, who was reportedly in agreement for $1.3M.

For the Cincinnati Reds, the bonus handed out to Braylin Minier is significant. It’s the largest bonus they’ve given out to a non-Cuban born player in over a decade. The last time they signed a player for more that wasn’t Cuban was in 2008 when they signed both Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez for $2M+. It’s only the second time since then that the team has even handed out a 7-figure bonus since then to a non-Cuban prospect. Cristian Olivo got $1M in the 2015 signing period.

Braylin Minier Scouting Report

Defensively he’s a quality shortstop who has plus arm strength. Offensively there’s some pop in his bat and he’s got a chance to hit for a quality average in the future.

“He’s a quick-twitch athlete, with a really good chance to stay at shortstop. He’s got really good hands and footwork. We think he’ll certainly have enough arm strength to play at shortstop,” said Trey Hendricks, the Reds Director of International Scouting. “Offensively he really swings the bat – he’s got tremendous barrel whip from the left side. Surprising power for someone his size – he’s not physically imposing, but he’s got wiry strength now and he’s going to fill out. He’s probably an average runner right now. A good combination that he’s got a good chance to stick at shortstop and he’s a left-handed bat that we think will grow into some power.”

Michel Triana Scouting Report

Out of Cuba, Michael Triana showed up in the Dominican Republic last year and became eligible to sign for this signing period. While he’s a little bit older than the others in this class – he’s 19-years-old – he did sign a contract for the 2020 season. While he will be in the Reds complex in the Dominican and play in the Tricky League (an informal league for newly signed guys in all of the organizations), he won’t be playing in games that can be followed until 2020.

With Michel Triana, here’s the scouting report that I posted earlier this year after speaking with several scouts in spring training who had seen him at his workouts.

The first scout that I spoke with about Michel Triana noted that his team wasn’t too interested in him. But that he looked more impressive in his workout than he was expecting based on previous information. The power was there, both now and even more in the future. His take was that while he’s possibly going to see time at third base early, he’s a future first baseman. There was also some concerns about how his body could potentially get in the future if he didn’t take care of it.

Reports over the next few days were a little better. One scout noted that there’s potential there for 30+ home run power down the line if things go right for him. And that he could also be a guy who hits for a good average. No one seemed to believe that he would wind up at third base long term, but there was one person who felt that the corner outfield could be a possibility – but he also noted first base was an option.

Other Reds International Signings

Deivid Alcantara, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Born in Puerto Rico, but has been in the Dominican Republic for several years. “Super athletic, has very good speed. There’s a chance for him to be very physical in the future. He can really swing the bat well. Has a very good arm – very exciting, toolsy prospect. He’s performed in games, too,” said Hendricks of Deivid Alcantara. He got the third highest bonus (thus far) from this signing class.

Yerlin Confidan, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic. Left-handed hitting outfielder. He shows elite arm strength and profiles as a right fielder. He has long limbs and is very projectable with big time power in the future. Needs to add strength, but can already drive the ball to all fields.

Wencer Inirio, a third baseman from the Dominican Republic. Could hit for both average and power in the future. He’s shown the ability to hit in games. Trained at the facility as Braylin Minier.

Brayan Almonte, a right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Was a center fielder/shortstop at one point, but moved to a pitcher. Already in the low-90s and can spin the ball. His athleticism on the mound really stands out.

Cesar Martinez, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic. He’s a switch-hitting middle infielder. Has a chance to stick at short, but could wind up at second base. No big, flashy tools, but is solid all around.

Adrian Castro, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Ben Badler shared some video of him on Instagram.


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A 2019 international prospect from the Dominican Republic eligible to sign on July 2, shortstop Adrian Castro ??

A post shared by Ben Badler, Baseball America (@ben.badler) on

The Rules for the International Signing Period

The teams no longer can just spend what they want. Each team has a set pool amount that they can’t go over. Teams can, however, trade for additional pool money. For now, the Cincinnati Reds are allowed to spend $5,939,800 on this signing class. Anyone signed for $10,000 or less does not count towards that pool.

We don’t have the bonuses for everyone we know that they have signed at this point, but we do seem to know the top two at this point. At $3.1M between Braylin Minier and Michel Triana, those two account for 52% of their pool. I don’t have the bonus amounts for everyone else that has signed at this point, but I do have some. On top of the Minier and Triania bonuses, there’s another $935,000 that’s been spent that on four players players. That pushes the Reds just over the $4M mark as of now.

It’s also worth noting that these players will be signing contracts for NEXT season, not this one. We won’t see these guys on the field this year, though they will be at the complex in the Dominican Republic, and will be playing in games. The games just won’t be official.

31 Responses

  1. Nep O'Tism

    Doug, are none of these guys top-30 in the international class? I was looking at the MLB Pipeline top-30 International Prospects and couldn’t find any of these four guys.

    Meanwhile the Cubs signed the #6, #11, and #30 prospects on that list.

    • Champ Summers

      the top 2 are getting paid more than many on the list so there has to be something there. Also, do you trust the MLB pipeline prospect list? To me it’s like the McDonald’s of the guys who rank prospects. It’s free so it’s a decent guideline but I certainly wouldn’t hold it a gospel.

      • Nep O'Tism

        I am not proposing to treat it as gospel, if there’s another top-30 list I can see where these guys are on, that’d be good to see. So far it just doesn’t look promising.

        I just know….
        The Cubs have signed #6, #11, and #30 on that list.
        The Dodgers have signed #4 and #21 on that list.
        The Yankees have signed #1 and #18 on that list.
        The Reds have signed nobody on that list.

        So yeah not gospel, but at this point we can either believe that the Reds class isn’t very impressive or we can believe the Reds FO is smarter than some of the best teams in the league.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s a reason that Baseball America decided not to rank players this year…. just about all information on them is over a year old at this point. Take the rankings mostly with a grain of salt. (I’ll note that my information on Minier is NOT old information – it’s from someone who has seen him recently.

      But essentially, the top end guys are coming to agreements a year or two in advance and stop working out for other teams. These rankings are more based on what guys were as 14 or 15 year olds rather than the 16/17 year olds that they are today. Things can and do change an awful lot between that time.

      • Nep O'Tism

        Good info Doug, thanks. I know it’s tough to predict a baseball player at age 16, let alone 14.

        I just was a bit worried seeing the Reds get none of the top guys. It’s not like they have a particularly good track record with non-MLB Ready international signings.

      • Doug Gray

        I think their track record tells you that you need to spend. As I noted in the article, prior to today, they had handed out ONE bonus of 7 figures to a non-Cuban player in over a decade. That player just turned 20 this season. While it’s certainly possible to get guys that are non 7-figure guys and turn them into legit prospects, by-and-large the international signees who turn into Top 100 caliber prospects are 7-figure bonus guys. And the Reds simply haven’t been in that market in a very long time.

    • Wes

      There’s for sure reason for concern. Cubs are almost always going to get better international players just bc Chicago is a more desirable location while reds have to continue to over pay for diamonds in the ruff. All these players should be subject to a draft and divvy them up that way to keep rich from getting richer.

      Atleast before you could drop a 80 million (x2) like padres did and play the odds you will get several young talented players- this new system is completely bs and collusion based. Only reason they changed it is to keep teams from spending 30 million at once.

      Divvy up the talent equally and be fair to ALL markets !!!

      • Doug Gray

        There are things working against the Reds in this market, but it’s more of a “they’ve never committed the money in the past” than it is a bunch of 14-year-old kids dreaming of playing in a big market in Chicago – which literally isn’t happening.

      • RedsKoolAidDrinker

        I don’t see any of these kids being particular about any city but just dreaming of the pay day and making it to the big leagues one day and living anywhere in the great US of A. Not until they have lived over here awhile and have played a few seasons into a big league contract would they have those aspirations but right now they’re fulfilling their dream by signing a contract, getting some money, and having their shot at the game they love.

  2. The Duke

    I’m a proponent of throwing $4-$5 million at one of the top 1-3 guys in the class and then signing cheaper guys to fill out the international class, but I do like that they are spending some money. SS is definitely an organizational need.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      Duke do you think that they are signing shortstops bc it’s an organizational need or do you think that most of the best players play infield for their teams and transition once on the more competitive teams that is minor league baseball?
      If it’s the former, I love it.

      • Nep O'Tism

        I think it’s the latter. At 16, if you’re the most athletic kid on your team, you’re probably the SS.

        Just look at Suarez, he didn’t stay at SS. I doubt all those SS that are internationally signed today stay at SS in the long run.

      • The Duke

        I’m sure it’s just because most of the best players in the DR play SS, but it’s still an organizational need and Minier sounds like he has a good shot at sticking there and hit.

    • Colorado Red

      I would agree with you Duke.
      Lots of signings of lower ranked (I understand it is old info), does not work.
      That is why the Reds have consistently failed in this market.

  3. LB

    Not sure if this is what you were alluding to in the last paragraph, but would you say there’s ANY feasible chance that we see Triana (not the others) state-side this year given his age and relative advancement compared to most international signings?

    IIRC, with Jose Garcia, we had to wait, but just wondering if Triana may be a different case.

    • Doug Gray

      Stateside, I’d be surprised. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to spend some time in the DSL this season (like Alfredo Rodriguez did the year in which he signed). I’ll find out if he signed a contract for this season, or if he signed one for next season.

    • Doug Gray

      All except for Triana are from the Dominican Republic at this point.

      • SteveLV

        Pretty amazing how much baseball talent is produced in the DR, given that is has roughly the population of Ohio or 3% of the US.

  4. Champ Summers

    I think Baltimore has signed half the Caribbean

    • Doug Gray

      It’s about time they started participating. They had a signing class a couple of years ago where they signed less than 10 guys on the international market.

      • Champ Summers

        I know the Reds aren’t that bad but they haven’t been all that great either. That was a big class to announce so early.

  5. Phil

    Doug, you mention multiple times that Braylin Minier is not from Cuba, but don’t even tell us where he is from.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ll add it to the post. It’s been a busy morning/afternoon thus far.

      I should have plenty more information this evening on some of these guys.

  6. Brad

    1) New International Scouting Director, so far, I like the idea of going big for 2-3 position players and sign a lot of others for less/depth of class. 13 to 16 year old position players are hard enough to project, I cant imagine doing same for Pitchers at same ages.

    2) Every position player starts listed as a C, SS or CF. Their trainers arent dumb. They know premium positions get paid a premium.

    3) Interesting that top 2 signings are currently Infielders (SS Minien, 3B/1B Triana). 4 of top 7 draft bonuses went to Infielders as well (3B Hines, 2B Callihan, 2B/SS Johnson, SS Contreras). Who knows where they end up down the road, but may be an organizational focus to get players who can at least start playing on the dirt.

    4) Triana will be 23 for Votto’s option year and 24 when his contract is exhausted. Will need to be protected in 2024 for Rule 5 draft purposes. Coincidence? Maybe.

  7. John

    Do you have all of their ages, Doug? Just wondering if any of them are older than 16 and might be worthy of starting in Dayton like Jose Israel Garcia did.

    • Doug Gray

      I’d be shocked if any of them other than Triana even saw the US next year at all. I don’t have the ages on all of them, but guys who are signing today are almost always 16 or 17, unless they are Cuban. Guys that are older than that don’t need to wait and could have already signed.