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Phillies news and rumors 1/16: Team agrees to $1.4 million deal with 17-year-old Dominican outfielder

Citizens Bank Park has been home to the Phillies since 2004. (Tim Kelly/Phillies Nation)

January 15 marked the beginning of the international signing period and a young outfielder from the Dominican Republic headlines this year’s Phillies class.

The Phillies, according to MLB Pipeline’s Jesse Sanchez, agreed to a $1.4 million deal with 17-year-old Jalvin Arias.

Per Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies agreed to deals with 21 players. Here are the names listed on Baseball America’s international signing tracker as of Tuesday morning:

  • Cesar Mujica, catcher, Venezuela
  • Julio Polanco Jr., right-handed pitcher, Dominican Republic
  • Anderson Nava, catcher, Venezuela
  • Winifer Castillo, outfielder, Dominican Republic
  • Yadimir Fuentes, catcher, Cuba
  • Jorge Guzman, left-handed pitcher, Mexico
  • Mailerson Casanova, shortstop, Dominican Republic
  • Ibrahim Ruiz, outfielder, Venezuela
  • Josueth Quiñonez, outfielder, Venezuela
  • Jose Familia, shortstop, Dominican Republic
  • Cristobal Bena, shortstop, Dominican Republic
  • David Freitas, outfielder, Venezuela
  • Rene Yrish, right-handed pitcher, Dominican Republic

The international signing period runs through Dec. 15. Players who reside outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico and are at least 16 at the time of signing and will be 17 or older by Sept. 1 of next year are eligible to sign with clubs during the signing period.

The prospect that signs for the highest dollar amount does not always turn out to be the best player in the class. The 2017-18 Phillies international signing class was headlined by shortstop Luis Garcia, who signed for $2.5 million in July 2017. A few months later, Johan Rojas signed with the Phillies for $10,000. Garcia was designated for assignment by the Phillies in Sept. 2022 while Rojas is the frontrunner to be the team’s starting center fielder on Opening Day.

The Phillies, along with the Yankees, Rangers and Padres, have the lowest international bonus pool to work with this year at $4,652,200. The team lost one million dollars from this year’s pool for signing qualified free agent Trea Turner last offseason.

Must-read Phillies content

  • The Inquirer has some scouting reports on the new signings from Phillies international scouting director Derrick Chung.
  • The Phillies moving Bryce Harper to first base figures to be on of the biggest positional gains in the league this year, according to MLB.com
  • The Eagles have put us out of our misery. The countdown to spring training has begun. The Phillies have not released an official report date for pitchers and catchers, but it’s expected to be either Feb. 14 or 15.

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