Mets Sign SS German Ahmed Rosario for $1.7 Million

Monday, the Mets officially signed Dominican SS German Ahmed Rosario for for $1.75 million. ESPN’s Enrique Rojas was the first to the news over the weekend. The Mets, Astros and White Sox had been linked most closely to Rosario.

Here are some excerpts from Baseball America’s scouting report on Rosario:

Rosario might be the most divisive player in Latin America. He has a long, lanky build, good bat speed and raw power in batting practice along with average speed. Some scouts who like Rosario enough to have him ranked as the top prospect in the Dominican Republic, seeing him as a true shortstop who with power who can hit in games… Supporters like his fielding instincts, hands, arm strength and ability to make the barehanded play.

Other scouts see an upright hitter with a leg kick that gets him out on his front foot against offspeed stuff and leads to strikeouts with his uppercut stroke. His body has a lot of room to fill out, so he may end up at third base, but some scouts aren’t sold on his infield actions and see him as a corner outfielder.

Scouts are united in their appreciation of Rosario’s makeup. He is scheduled to graduate high school before July 2. ….

If a team sees a true shortstop with an impact bat, Rosario could end up the highest-paid player in the Dominican Republic.

Obviously, the Mets are the team that sees a true shortstop with an impact bat. As for philosophy, it’s of a piece with committing to up the middle players like Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini. This is the first big signing for the Mets’ new international scouting director Chris Becerra, who had been the team’s west coast cross checker.

This is the largest bonus the Mets have ever given an international free agent, topping the $1.3 million for Fernando Martinez in 2005.

It’s a departure in the way that the Mets have approached risk in amateur player acquisition in the draft. Domestically, for example, the Mets eschewed the expensive pitchers earlier (see: Lucas Giolito, Lance McCullers) to spread their pool dollars over more players. Here, given an international bonus pool of $2.9 million, the team spent 59% of that potential pool on one player.

The $1.7 million bonus is equivalent 26th pick in the June 2012 draft. However, comparing international signing bonuses, which are dictated by an open auction system, to draft bonuses, where the player can only negotiate with one team is foolish. Talent will be more expensive in an auction setting.

Contracts signed on July 2, 2012 are 2013 contracts, for you rules junkies.

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