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Rangers sign Yeyson Yrizarri, Jose Almonte, Marcos Diplan, Michael De Leon

The Rangers strike quickly as the J-2 signing period opens, grabbing one of the top international prospects on the market


At 8:00 a.m. Central this morning, teams could begin signing international free agents who are eligible for this year's J-2 class.

The Rangers have struck almost immediately, signing Yeyson Yrizarri, a 16 year old shortstop.

Yrizarri received a bonus of $1.35 million. Given that the Rangers' total international signing bonus pool is, as of right now, $1.9 million, that means they've devoted almost three-quarters of their available dollars to Yrizarri.

However, they can trade for almost $1 million in additional signing pool space, and are expected to try to acquire additional space.

Yrizarri is 6', 175 lbs. He was born in Venezuela, but has been living in the Dominican Republic, and trained with the same people who trained Francisco Cespedes, who the Rangers signed last month.

BA's scouting report says that Yrizarri gets praise for having a quick bat, advanced approach and strong arm, although there are questions about whether he'll be able to stay at shortstop.

UPDATE -- Reports on Twitter indicate that the Rangers have also signed Dominican outfielder Jose Almonte for $1.8 million. This would put the Rangers over their pool limit, even if they trade for additional bonus pool space. The penalty for going at least 15% over their pool limit -- which it appears the Rangers have done -- is a 100% tax on the overage amount, and no first round picks in the 2014 and 2015 drafts (if there is an international draft), or not being allowed to spend more than $250,000 on a player in the 2014-15 signing period.

UPDATE II -- Dionisio Soldevila is reporting on Twitter that sources are saying the Rangers acquired bonus pool space from the Marlins.

UPDATE III -- Dionisio Soldevila just tweeted that the Rangers have signed Marcos Diplan, a 16 year old righthanded pitcher from the Dominican Repubilc, to a $1.3 million bonus. Diplan is a 5'11", 160 lb. righthander who was in the top 10 of the BA rankings and Kiley McDaniel's rankings. Diplan throws in the low-90s and has a good curveball, per reports. He's also described as "athletic," of course.

If these reports are true, the Rangers are at $4.45 million in bonuses, which means that, even if they traded for the full amount of pool space that they can add, they are more than 15% of their maximum spending cap. That means they will either be limited to signing player for no more than $250,000 apiece in next year's J-2 class, or else they will lose their first round picks in 2014 and 2015 if there is an international draft.

UPDATE IV -- Courtesy of Tepid Participation, here's some video of Diplan:

Marcos Diplan (via IMPERIAL FILM)

UPDATE V -- Per Ben Badler, the Rangers have also signed 6'1", 160 lb. shortstop Michael De Leon, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic who was ranked #26 on the Baseball America top 30 list.