Report: Pirates expected to sign pricy Dominican outfielder

Report: Pirates expected to sign pricy Dominican outfielder

The new international free agent signing period may not begin until July 2, but the Pirates are expected to make one of the biggest splashes in baseball when that day comes.

Baseball America expects the Pirates to sign 16-year-old left-handed outfielder Shalin Polanco to a contract with a $2.5 million signing bonus.

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This report comes from Ben Badler, who projects Polanco to be the second most expensive outfielder signed next year.

Ben Cherington was not afraid to sign international players to large signing bonuses when he was in Boston. He signed four players to seven-figures in his four years as their general manager, most notably Rafael Devers in 2013 and Yoan Moncada in 2015. The latter signed a $31.5 million contract, which also incurred an additional $31.5 million in penalties since the Red Sox went over their bonus pool limit.

Earlier this week, Cherington signed 16-year-old Australian outfielder Solomon Maguire to a $594,000 signing bonus, a very large amount for this stage of free agency.