You’ve doubtless read, courtesy of colleague Dave O’Brien, that the Braves have signed shortstop Edward Salcedo, an 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic. The team likes Salcedo enough to have given him a $1.6 million signing bonus, which is fairly big money for the organization that wanted Johnny Damon, who’s twice Salcedo’s age, to accept deferred money.
As DOB notes, the Braves could afford to invest in a young free agent because they have no first-round pick in the June draft, having forfeited theirs after signing Billy Wagner. And Salcedo has been the apple of teams’ eye for a long time now: He was reported as having signed with Cleveland in 2007 — the figure mentioned was $2.9 million — but the deal, for reasons still unclear, never went through.
For a detailed look on the curious non-contract with the Indians and questions over Salcedo’s age, read this informative assessment from Ben Badler of Baseball America. And here, from the Cleveland perspective, was Anthony Castrovince’s report on MLB.com.
Badler mentioned Salcedo posing for a newspaper in Cleveland regalia. I’m guessing the photo accompanying this post is the picture in question. And Badler also reported that Scott Boras, of whom you’ve heard, was Salcedo’s representative. According to MLBTradeRumors, the player is now represented by Edgar Mercedes.
According to DOB, Salcedo’s age has been verified as 18 by MLB. And the Braves, you should know, considered his signing a big enough deal to issue a three-paragraph press release, complete with this quote from Johnny Almaraz, the team’s director of international scouting:
“This is a significant signing for us. We feel that Edward is one of this year’s most talented prospects. He has outstanding makeup and the combination of his fielding and hitting ability make him one of the top international players we’ve seen in a while.”
OK, so now you’re asking: What does Salcedo look like? Courtesy of USA Today’s Daily Pitch and YouTube, we have our answer: He looks tall and thin — he’s 6-foot-3– with impressive bat speed for someone so young. Click on the video below to see for yourself.