Last Saturday night I mentioned a rumor about the Giants signing Dominican RF Rafael Rodriguez for a $2.55 M signing bonus. It turns out that was true, which makes me feel a little better about what I had been hearing. A little later after that, over at Saberscouting there was a poster by the name of Carlos Sanchez who said a Rodriguez had agreed to sign with the Cardinals for $3.3 M. Assuming he was referring to Rafael Rodriguez, I mentioned it in that post in the name fun and rumors. Here’s where things get a little interesting. It turns out that he was referring to the one month younger Rodriguez, the highly coveted Yorman.
Now I’ll say this: If Carlos Sanchez is the same poster who was previously going by Carlos, I would tend to lean towards believing this guy is pretty connected and knows his stuff based on his prior comments. He, amongst others, nailed the connection of the Cardinals and Roberto Pina.
Yorman can’t officially sign with any team until he turns 16 next month. Most teams expect him to break the signing bonus record of any Venezuelan player. The record holder is Miguel Cabrera, who signed for $1.9 M. It’s been long believed that Rodriguez had already agreed to sign with Cincinnati.
Last week Derrick Goold blogged that Jeff Luhnow was still chasing after Yorman, and that Luhnow believed the Cards still had a chance, and they were willing to go over the record under the right circumstances. Our homeslice Picklefork had mentioned our rumors and the rumors floating around at Saberscouting at Bernie’s Pressbox, and Bernie said:
Luhnow has been working that signing hard for a long time… he made great inroads with the family, the coaches, etc.
Baseball America has stated that Yorman’s power and speed tool both grade out as 70′s on the 20-80 scale according to most scouts, and he’s been compared to everyone from Miggy Cabrera, for his bloodlines and power, to Eric Davis and Carlos Beltran, for his power/speed combo. That’s on the wildly optimistic side, others have stated concerns that he’s really more of a 5′o clock hitter and think his hit tool is pretty questionable. But if the Cardinals are willing to commit that much $ to him, I’m sure they’ve done their homework thoroughly.
If the Cardinals do sign him for the aforementioned $3.3M, that would not only be the biggest signing bonus given to a Venezuelan player ever, that would be the biggest signing bonus the Cardinals have given any player – ever. The 2nd highest would then be JD Drew at $3 M. Wow. And that would be on top of the Cardinals already commiting $1.1 (or $1.2, I can’t remember) to Roberto Pina and over $500 K each on Franco and Valera. Wow again. To top it off, this would be Luhnow signing away a player that the Walt Jocketty-led Reds have been believed to have in the bag. Triple wow and “zing!” for Luhnow.
Time will tell if these rumors prove true or not, but it’s pretty intriguing to me. I know Yorman’s birthday is in August, but does anyone know the exact date? We may need to start a countdown here at the blog.
UPDATE: I’m being told now that someone with the Cardinals flat out denied this alleged deal in place and stated the Cards are not interested in that spending that kind of money. Bummer.