July 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Red Sox have signed Jose Almonte, a right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic, on the first day he was eligible. Rated Baseball America's #17 international amateur free agent, Almonte's deal is reportedly worth $610,000.
Almonte, 16, already stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 185 pounds, and impressed scouts with a smooth delivery and a fastball that touched 91. He also features a curveball, which reportedly has good downward movement, though both his control and command of the pitch is considered inconsistent.
Almonte trains with coach Felix Liriano, who notably has also worked with fellow Red Sox signee Simon Mercedes.
The deal is the first for the Red Sox under the new international signing rules, which penalizes teams who go over an allotted bonus pool amount. For the 2012-2013 signing period, that amount is $2.9M, meaning the Red Sox have roughly $2.3M more to spend before any luxury tax would kick in. Signings that took place previous to July 2, such as Mercedes and Tzu-Wei Lin, will not count against the cap.