Pirates Sign 16-Year Old Mexican Pitcher Luis Heredia for $2.6 million
Heredia is one of the most highly-regarded prospects in this year's international free-agent market, The Pirates will pay a $2.6 million bonus, with most of it going to Veracruz, the team that currently owns his rights.
This news comes just days after the Pirates announced the signings of their first- and second-round draft picks, Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie.
Taillon was widely considered to be the best pitcher available in the 2010 draft, and Allie was thought by many to be the second best high school pitcher behind only Taillon. Combined the Pirates have spent $11.35 million getting the three pitchers into their system.
Added together, the three signings mean that the Pirates have gone from having almost no real elite pitching talent in their minor-league system to having three very highly regarded, if extremely young, arms in just four days. That's quite a week for general manager Neal Huntington and his scouts.
Baseball America's Ben Badler also notes that the $2.6 million bonus is the fifth highest signing bonus ever paid for an international free agent. It's by far the most the Pirates have ever paid for an international player, though they've worked hard in recent years to increase their presence in Latin America by building an new Dominican headquarters and were heavily involved in the bidding for Miguel Angel Sano of the Dominican Republic last summer, only to lose him to the Twins for a $3.15 million bonus.