The offseason springs new hope for all levels of baseball, not just the KC Royals. The Kansas City Dominican Royals, the team's Dominican Summer League affiliated, recently announced four new pitcher acquisitions via Instagram.
The KC Royals added four pitchers to their DSL squads in recent days.
The team signed right-handed pitchers Carlos Beras, John Garcia, Jordin Jhonni, and Neftali Taveras. This is the first affiliated organization for all four players. Not much is known about these pitchers, due to their age and the reliance upon in-person scouting in the Dominican Republic.
They are all young players, that is known for sure. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez
laid out the rules for signing international free agents in his recent ranking of the top 50 international prospects.
"An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before Sept. 1 the following year -- in practical terms, that means players born between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, will be eligible to sign in the upcoming signing period."- MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez
These pitchers join the Royals organization as the 2023 international signing period is winding down. Their contractual details are unknown as of this reporting, but they join a solid DSL unit for Kansas City. The organization is split between DSL Blue and DSL Gold. Blue finished third in the division with a 29-25 record, while Gold finished at the bottom at 22-32. Those 22 wins still place them above 10 other squads in the win-loss standings.
The individual pitching results in Kansas City's DSL teams are among the best as well. Victor Pena and Yenfri Sosa ranked second and third, respectively, in FIP amongst DSL pitchers. The Royals have four pitchers in the top 30 regarding FIP, while Pena's 14.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio is second-best in the DSL. These are encouraging signs for a Royals organization that has struggled to develop international talent in recent seasons. The DSL offers some of the Royals better position player prospects, but they are a long way away from the big leagues.
The 2024 international signing period begins Jan. 15, and the Royals could be very active. Their $7,114,800 bonus pool is tied with six other franchises for the largest in MLB. Writer Francys Romero reported that Kansas City will sign Cuban shortstop Yandel Ricardo and third baseman José Luis Cerice once the period begins. Both are big-money acquisitions. Ricardo's bonus is reported to be $2,400,000 while Cerice's "will be in the range of $700,000," according to Romero.