The 2021-22 J-2 signing period opened today, and the Texas Rangers, as expected, made some significant signings. The Rangers Player Development Twitter feed listed 17 players in a graphic trumpeting the team’s “newest international signees.”
The most prominent signees are outfielders Anthony Gutierrez and Jose de Jesus. Gutierrez, a righthanded power hitting center fielder (though projected to likely end up at a corner) out of Venezuela, received a reported $2 million bonus. De Jesus, a switch hitter out of the Dominican Republic who just turned 17 a week ago today, is also a center fielder, but with more of a hit/speed profile. He reportedly received a $1.2 million bonus.
The COVID pandemic delayed the start of the international signing period in 2020, with the start date moving from July 2 of 2020 to January, 2021. That change is in effect this year, meaning that this year’s J-2 class (most of whom, at least among the top guys, have had deals in place for the past year or two, most likely) could only officially sign today, with the signing period running through December 22, 2022.
The Rangers pool is just under $5.2 million, so these two deals leave Texas with a little under $2 million available to spend, although deals for $10,000 or less don’t count against the pool. Teams are not allowed to trade for additional bonus pool money under the current rules, a change from pre-2020 J-2 rules.