Mets open pocketbook to sign shortstop Rosario
Club inks 16-year-old Dominican to $1.75M contract among three international deals
NEW YORK -- The Mets moved quickly to make a splash on the first day of Major League Baseball's international signing period, investing more money in one player than ever before.
The Mets announced Monday that they have signed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop German Rosario to a $1.75 million contract, topping the $1.3 million they paid for former top prospect Fernando Martinez in 2005. Compare those figures to the $2.3 million the Mets paid for shortstop Gavin Cecchini, their top pick in last month's First-Year Player Draft.
The Mets also inked Dominican second baseman Franklin Correa and Venezuelan shortstop Miguel Patino, both 16 years old, to deals. All three will report to the organization's Dominican Complex.
Though Rosario did not rank among MLB.com's list of the top 20 international prospects, Mets vice president of player development and amateur scouting Paul DePodesta called him an "extremely athletic, very instinctual and highly intelligent" shortstop.
"He has the chance to impact the game offensively, defensively and off the field," DePodesta said in a statement.
The move may signal an increased willingness for the Mets to splurge on amateur talent. Baseball America estimated that the Mets spent a total of $2.86 million on international bonuses in 2011, the 12th-ranked figure in baseball.