Texas Rangers rumors: Bayron Lora, a righthanded hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, has agreed to sign with the Texas Rangers for a $4.2 million signing bonus, per Jesse Sanchez. In addition, Maximo Acosta, a shortstop from Venezuela, has agreed to a deal with the Rangers, per Sanchez.
Lora and Acosta are two of the top players eligible to sign beginning today in the international amateur free agent signing period, usually referred to as the J-2 period. 16 year old players may sign as of today, and most of the top players from Latin America already have — and in same cases, have had for a couple of years — deals in place, which is why agreements are announced as soon as the period starts.
Lora is considered one of the top prospects in this class, a huge righthanded power hitter who also has a quality arm and profiles as a right fielder. He is said to have big time bat speed and top of the class raw power.
Acosta is a quality defensive shortstop who gets praise for his solid hit tool. He’s a righthanded hitter with good speed and instincts. His bonus hasn’t been announced, as it has become customary not to announce the amounts players from Venezuela are signing for, due to criminal activity in that country being such that releasing the number is thought to make players’ families potentially subject to threats or kidnapping.
However, Acosta is also a well regarded prospect, and one can reasonably assume he is getting a bonus in the ballpark of $1 million. The Rangers’ J-2 pool is $5.398,300, so unless they go out and trade for more international bonus pool space, these Lora and Acosta will likely represent the vast majority of their bonus pool spending.
Players who sign for $10,000 or less don’t count against a club’s bonus pool, but those who sign above do count, so the Rangers likely don’t have much to spend anymore.
17 year old Bahamian shortstop Zion Bannister has also signed with Texas, per reports. He’s a switch hitter who attended high school in the United States for a while, but otherwise, I don’t know much about him.
UPDATE — The beat guys are saying that Acosta is getting $1.6 million, and Bannister $835,000. Since that would take them over the bonus pool spending limit, the Rangers will presumably be making a deal to acquire more international pool space before these deals are official.