The first day that teams can officially sign international prospects is underway and the Cleveland Guardians are already making moves. Formalizing what has been known for a while now, the Guards signed outfielder Jaison Chourio and catcher Victor Izturis for $1.2 million each.
Cleveland was the favorite for 16-year-old Chourio for months now (he’s posted pictures of himself in Cleveland gear as far as back as November). The Venezuelan is ranked as the No. 26 international prospect by Baseball America and the No. 20 prospect by MLB Pipeline. Both praise his athleticism in the outfield and think he’ll be able to stick in center field as a top-of-the-order hitter down the road.
Victor Izturis — ranked No. 46 by Baseball America and No. 40 by MLB Pipeline — is the nephew of former major-leaguers Cesar and Maicer Izturis. Baseball America likes his high baseball IQ and repeatable swing mechanics. And, as you would expect from any Cleveland catching prospect at this point, he is expected to stick behind the plate with good defensive ability.
These are just the big names, but the Guardians will have roughly $3.8 million left to sign other international prospects throughout the day and you can never keep this front office away from toolsy middle infielders so you can bet there will be more soon.