Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has pushed all of his chips to the middle with comes to the current international signing period.
The team has already picked up a stable of young talent on the first day July 2 and days after including Dominican shortstop Freudis Nova. The Astros even took the big dip, signing Yuliesky Gurriel to a four-year contract (Gurriel doesn't apply to the international signing period). But the team isn't done. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez is reporting the Astros are now in the process of signing Cuban infielder Anibal Sierra for $ 1.5 million:
Astros are staying busy on int'l market. Source: HOU inked SS Anibal Sierra, 22, for $1.5M. He signed under int'l signing guidelines.#Cuba— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) July 23, 2016
Sierra, 22, checks at 6-foot-1, 180-pound shortstop. Sanchez notes that:
He has an aggressive line-drive approach at the plate and good hands on defense. Scouts like his bat and his raw power.
The last stats that Baseball reference has for Anibal Sierra is from 2014, when he was playing with Santiago de Cuba in the Cuban National Series. He batted .193 (11x57) with three doubles, a triple and one RBI.
The signing further puts in the Astros over the international signing period maximum like the MLB Draft -- the Astros will have play 100 percent tax after going 15 percent over their $2,197,000 bonus pool. Sanchez notes the Astros have 18 prospects for an estimated $5.3 million.