The Padres added another power arm to their system Monday, officially agreeing to a deal with Cuban right-hander Michel Baez. The deal is for $3 million, according to an industry source.
Baez, 20, who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 230 pounds, played one season in Cuba's Serie Nacional in 2014. He has a fastball that sits in the 93-97 mph range.
San Diego has been quite busy on the international market. To date, the Padres have signed more than 40 international prospects for a combined $35 million in bonuses since the international signing period began July 2. Because they exceeded their pool limit ($3,347,600), they were taxed 100 percent on the spending, and they will not be able to sign an international prospect for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.
"It was part of the strategy that we looked at," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said last week at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md. "We thought it was a good year to sign some players we thought were going to be available that we liked."
The new collective bargaining agreement placed a cap on international spending. No team can exceed its signing bonus pool, and no signing bonus pool is greater than $5.75 million. The new CBA will include penalties from the previous CBA, meaning San Diego will be limited until 2018.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.