April 12, 2024

 

Braves News: The Braves sign the best foreign free agent in the class to the highest bonus possible

Atlanta just struck gold on the first day of international free agency.

Stars from outside markets have long been acquired by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves have signed players from outside the US in the past who have gone on to become legitimate stars while wearing the jersey, including Andruw Jones, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Rico Carty.

Unfortunately, the Braves’ past hasn’t always been favorable. Not only do teams often miss out on exceptional players due to their youth, but Atlanta was also forced to wait a while to access international free agency after general manager John Coppolella was suspended from baseball and lost his job as a result of repeated IFA violations.

The Braves may now operate in international free agency like any other team because they have moved past those sanctions. The Braves signed Jose Perdomo, perhaps the best international prospect, to what should be the largest international bonus of this year’s class at $5 million, giving them access to a $5,925,000 international bonus pool to work with starting today.

Jose Perdomo joins the Braves in a big IFA deal.
Shortstop Jose Perdomo of Venezuela has long been associated with Atlanta, and the team signed him to what is expected to be the biggest foreign bonus awarded globally in 2024. The Braves’ bonus pool this year is largely consumed by the signing of Perdomo, but it’s easy to understand why the team thinks highly enough of him to commit so much money.

Thanks to his aggressive approach at the plate, clean swing, superior pitch identification for his age, run times, and ability to hit for both average and power, Perdomo was noticed by scouts from an early age. If he doesn’t wind up outgrowing the position, the 17-year-old should also be able to stay at shortstop in the long run. In other words, if everything goes his way and he uses his pure hitting skill as his carrying tool, Perdomo has a chance to succeed as a professional.

While everyone appears to agree that Perdomo is in the debate, not everyone feels he is the top international prospect in the class. The nice folks over at MLB.com have him ranked third in this year’s IFA class behind shortstop Leo De Vries who is projected to sign with the Padres and outfielder Paulino Santana who has been tied to the Rangers. There is a genuine debate about Perdomo’s physical projection against De Vries’, but Perdomo has a higher floor and is currently arguably the superior player despite the typical “they are all just 17 right now” disclaimers.

The foreign talent pipeline is finally starting to flow again for the Braves, who added outfielder Luis Guanipa during the previous year’s international free agent period and recently added Perdomo. Even though it will take time to determine if these guys succeed, it is encouraging to watch Atlanta becoming a significant player in the global market.

 

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