Mets Get High Marks On International Free Agents

Last week, Ben Badler of Baseball America evaluated how MLB teams have done in the international arena with regards to scouting, signing and developing talent in these once neglected markets that have produced more than their fair share of solid major league baseball players..

The Mets ranked very well according to Badler who ranked the Amazins’ among the top five teams.

When Omar Minaya was general manager, the Mets revved up their spending in Latin America, most notably to sign a trio of Dominican players from Ivan Noboa in Fernando Martinez, Cesar Puello and Jefry Marte. Their scouts have been able to find quality players for lower prices, including Panamanian middle infielder Ruben Tejada, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and hard-throwing Dominican righthanders Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia. More recent additions like Dominican righthanders Domingo Tapia, Luis Mateo and Rafael Montero have kept the system stocked with intriguing young arms, though they are still far away. ~ Baseball America

It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of an effect the new CBA rules will have on international free agency.

Major League Baseball’s new labor agreement has capped the amount of dollars an organization can spend on international free agents. Effective this season, any team that spends more than $3 million dollars annually, will now face a heavy tax that could include a loss of draft picks in addition to the high financial levies.

That $3M amount wouldn’t even be enough to cover what some of the best available players used to get in the free market. Apparently this was done so to allow low market teams to get into the game, but it was a huge blow to the international players themselves. The union looked at these international players as collateral damage and caved just so that the new CBA could be pushed through. Well, that’s the way I saw it.

One such international free agent who is making a significant and most welcomed impact on the Mets this season, is of course second baseman Ruben Tejada who hails from Panama.

The other day some thought that maybe I took an unfair shot at former Mets GM Omar Minaya, but seriously, that man had no business being a general manager. However, giving credit where it is due, Omar Minaya could be my Scouting and Player Development Director any day of the week.