Trades are not the only types of the transactions that the Astros are interested in this time of the year.
Right on the heels of signing Cuban slugger Yulieski Gurriel, the Astros go back to Cuba to sign another promising player.
Per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Astros are close to a deal with Cuban infielder Anibal Sierra. The 22-year old is expected to sign a $1.5 million dollar deal.
Sierra has been described by Sanchez as “an athletic shortstop, but he can also play second base or third base.” Sanchez also mentions in his article that Sierra has “an aggressive line-drive approach at the plate.”
While this isn’t necessarily a flashy international signing like Gurriel, the Astros must be pleased with picking up another infield prospect that has shown potential. Picking up Sierra signifies that the Astros continually looking for ways to improve the organization from top to bottom. After all, the more quality prospects there are in the system, then the more likely that the major league team will improve in the future.
With the Astros already over the limit for their international pool allotment of approximately of $2.197 million, the team will have to pay a 100% overage tax. MLB Trade Rumors Mark Polishuk reports that the tax will essentially make Sierra’s deal of $1.5 million into roughly $3 million. Both reports also state that the next two international signing periods will be restrictive for the Astros as the team cannot make any deals that exceed $300K.
The Astros have been quite busy during the current international signing period as the organization has now inked 18 prospects to deals. Sanchez has reported the total money spent by the Astros on this group before adding Sierra to be around “an estimated $5.3 million”. It remains to be seen if the Astros are done in this international period. But if the team is finished, it is promising to see how much the organization is willing to spend on the international market to improve the overall health of the club for the future.
**Salary & player information provided by reports via MLB.com and MLB Trade Rumors**