Padres News: Padres Sign Pitcher Cuban Pitcher Ronald Bolanos

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres are at it again on the international market as the club has signed yet another player. This time the Padres have signed a right handed pitcher out of Cuba named Ronald Bolanos. The pitcher was regarded as one of the best prospects in the signing period and was listed as the 20th ranked international prospect coming into the signing period which started July2.

A.J. Preller is wasting no time in signing these youngster to big money. The Padres have traditionally not spent very much on the international market but that has all changed now. They have blown passed their bonus pool money and will have to pay heavy fines. In fact the $2.25 million dollar deal they signed Bolanos to will actually cost them $4.5 million as they are currently subject to a 100% tax on anyone they sign until next July. The team has now spent upwards of $65 million dollars on young talent from other countries.

The Padres now have eight of the 27 signed top 30 international players. That is really unheard of especially if you factor in the Padres have signed four out of the top 10. The farm system will get a much-needed boost in a few seasons and the future of the Padres has never looked brighter. Of course all these players are no sure thing, but if you surround yourself with an extraordinary amount of talent (like the Padres have), you will surely find success with some of them.

Preller has taken a lot of criticism for the Padres performance on the field. In fact the Padres have not played well under his guidance. However the GM is constructing an overhaul of the philosophy of this franchise and that is no easy task by any means. Fans will just have to remain patient. Those that have the vision are aware of how special this time is.

Adding Bolanos to the Padres farm system was a no-brainer. He is 20 and a little further along in his development that most of the young kids the team drafted. Bolanos has a live arm and has a bit of a deception about the way he throws. He hides the ball well and hitters have a tough time adjusting to him. His three-quarters motion has a lot to do with that. Bolanos has been clocked in the 94-96 MPH range and has an excellent slider. The young man also throws a curve ball and a change up. He has four pitches and commands them pretty well. Bill Badler of Baseball America indicates though he won’t pitch this year, Bolanos is seasoned enough that he could start next year in Fort Wayne or Lake Elsinore.

The former Cuban national left the country in the summer of 2015 after pitching as a member of the country’s Junior National team. As a reliever in 2014-15 he pitched for Mayabeque which is in Cuba’s top league. He threw 37 2/3 innings to the tune of a 4.89 ERA. He is still very young and there is some work to do with this young man, but he has a decent future. He projects as a mid to top of the rotation type starter. Wat to go A.J… keep em coming.

4 thoughts on “Padres News: Padres Sign Pitcher Cuban Pitcher Ronald Bolanos

  1. So Bolanos costs the Padres $4.5 MM – just a bit more than 1st round draft pick Cal Quantrill.

    Is he a better pitcher? Probably not, as draft picks have value also (not fair on draftees, but OK per MLBPA)

    So how do we value the overseas players drafted ?

    Maybe an additional six first round picks – Morejon, Ona, Almanzar plus others
    Six second round pucks – Arias, Bolanos, Rosario. plus others.
    and six third round picks – Lopez, Ornelas, Quintero plus others


    1. In my opinion the Bolanos selection and signing was finalized because the Padres lost Luis Castillo back to the Marlins. They are roughly around the same in their worth/production, but Bolanos is three years younger. Great pickup by A.J…. costly… but I am not going to complain

      1. I think Preller is all-in on buying Caribbean talent this year….yes it’s costly but in the big picture utilizing and paying for all these additional “draft picks” is the best way for a small market club like the Padres to create a consistent winner in the 2020s. And I hope and expect that we have more to come.

        The reason for his success is, I think-

        1) His willingness to spend the necessary dollars to build an acquisition team knowing the relative value of all the available talent pool.
        2) His decision to go for the big prizes in 2016.
        3) He has beaten out much of the competition because they don’t want to sign one player and go over the limit.

        Yes we are handicapped in signing international talent for a couple of years – unless the rules change- but in acquiring four or five years of first rate talent this year we are set up with fine young players progressing through the farm system for years to come.

        He has bought the lion’s share of the international talent for the cost of three years of James Shields.
        I’m confident it will prove to be a good investment.

  2. The Padres have saved $57.5M in future contract obligations with the deals of Shields, Upton and Kemp. So the Padres really haven’t put that much money out this year for all of these signings. At that rate, maybe the Padres can bring in a couple more of the top talent still left on the market, (ie. Gutierrez, Perez and Gourriel). As you said James, “Keep ’em coming!”

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