Jul 15, 2010, 9:28 PM EDT
Anteing up $3.5 million to add talent to a system dearly in need of it, the Mariners signed three 16-year-olds out of Latin America to minor league contracts on Thursday, Baseball America reports.
Chief among the players was outfielder Phillips Castillo, a native of the Dominican Republic who signed for $2.2 million. The hope is that he’ll blossom into a major league right fielder with 25- or 30-homer power.
The Mariners also added RHP Jose Torres of Colombia for $851,000 and third baseman Yordyn Calderon from Venezuela for $477,500.
Castillo’s bonus is tied for the third-highest handed out to a Latin player so far this year, behind the $2.8 million RHP Adonis Cardona received from the Blue Jays and the approx. $2.7 million outfielder Ariel Ovando got from Houston. It matches the $2.2 million that third baseman Renato Nunez received from Oakland.
Still available is Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, a player many expect will get the biggest bonus of the class.
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