According to several connections in the Dominican Republic, the Yankees and catching prospect Gary Sanchez have agreed to a $2.5 million deal.
Sanchez, 16, isn’t eligible to sign until July 2, but the Yankees’ dogged pursuit of the right-handed hitter has resulted in him wanting to sign with the club.
According to a Yankees source, who didn’t confirm or deny the agreement or money, nothing is guaranteed until a contract is signed.
“He is a big kid with a big arm,” a Latin American talent evaluator for an NL team said of the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Sanchez. “I would like to have him, but $2.5 million is a lot of money. He has a thick body. He is a real good hitter, but he doesn’t hit like Jesus Montero.”
The Yankees gave Montero, a catcher from Venezuela, $1.6 million in 2006 and he has impressed with the bat in two-plus years in the organization. After hitting .356 with eight homers and 37 RBIs in 48 games for Single-A Tampa, the 19-year-old Montero (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) was promoted to Double-A Trenton, where he is batting .283 with three RBIs in 13 games.
“Sanchez shows a lot of power in batting practice, but it doesn’t always transfer to games when the swing gets a little long,” the scout said. “He is an interesting guy.”
The Yankees are also interested in shortstop Miguel Angel Sano.
“If he is 16, I have never seen a 16-year-old with that type of body,” the scout said of the 6-foot-3 Sano.
Two Cuban defectors, lefty Noel Arguelles and shortstop Jose Iglesias, are on the Yankees’ radar. The pair left the World Junior Championships last summer in Edmonton and were cleared to negotiate with big league clubs June 12.
Two hundred and ten pounds, at sixteen, in a country known for its inadequacies with respect to proper nutrition? That either means he’s on something, or, will be a tub of goo by the time he’s here for a few years and hits all the fast food chains. That’s a red flag for me. Not so red that I wouldn’t sign him – but red enough that I would think twice about doing it for two-point-five mill.