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Dodgers 2024 international signing period headlined by Emil Morales

Some of the Dodgers international signings from the Dominican Republic on January 15, 2024. From left to right starting on top: pitcher Alexis Dominguez, shortstop Emil Morales, pitcher Axel Perez, catcher Euri Rosa, outfielder Rafy Peguero, shortstop Heudy Peña, and infielder Reyli Mariano.
Some of the Dodgers international signings from the Dominican Republic on January 15, 2024. From left to right starting on top: pitcher Alexis Dominguez, shortstop Emil Morales, pitcher Axel Perez, catcher Euri Rosa, outfielder Rafy Peguero, shortstop Heudy Peña, and infielder Reyli Mariano.
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers

Monday was the first day of the 2024 international signing period across Major League Baseball, the annual addition of teenagers — many with advance deals in place from unfathomably young ages — that might one day help in the majors.

On the first day of the period, the Dodgers announced the signing of 19 players, headlined by 17-year-old shortstop Emil Morales from the Dominican Republic.

Morales was rated the No. 2 international prospect in this class across baseball by Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs, who wrote Morales has “a shot to do a little bit of everything and develop into [a] five-tool player” and “he could perhaps be a very good defender at a second-tier position (third base).”

The 6’3 shortstop was ranked No. 10 by Baseball America, with Ben Badler writing, “It’s a sound swing for his age with power that has trended up as he has added strength to his lower half and should spike more in the coming years. Morales is an offensive-oriented shortstop who is built more like a third baseman, with many scouts believing he will slide over to third base in the near future.”

MLB Pipeline has Morales as the 14th-best international prospect.


I have not seen a definitive reported bonus of Morales, though Longenhagen at FanGraphs had his projected bonus at $2.4 million.

The only other reported signing bonus among Monday’s deals is of Dominican outfielder Rafy Peguero, who got a $350,000 bonus per Héctor Gómez of Z101 Digital.

The total Dodgers bonus pool for the 2024 period, which runs through December 15, was reported to be $5.925 million per Baseball America, though MLB Pipeline tabbed the total at $5.284 million.

Whatever the total, the Dodgers will likely have a fair amount leftover for the final two months of the period, perhaps in hopes of Roki Sasaki, the Japanese sensation who wants to be posted by the Chiba Lotte Marines after the 2024 season, even if it would limit his initial earning power. R.J. Anderson wrote about the Sasaki situation back in December at CBS Sports.

Josh Thomas at Dodgers Digest, who reported the Dodgers’ signing of Peguero on Sunday, wrote, “It’s all blather until the posting is official, but it is impossible to look at how things are shaping up and avoid speculation, especially when Andrew Friedman is showing up on video with Will Ireton as his interpreter, respectfully flirting with the elephant in the room, Roki Sasaki:”

Notes

  • Yojackson Laya, a Venezuelan shortstop, is a cousin of Ronald Acuña Jr., per Badler.
  • Allan Atoji, a catcher, is the third Ugandan player signed by the Dodgers over the last three years. Catcher Umar Male and pitcher Ben Serunkuma were signed in 2022. Last May, Kevin Baxter at the Los Angeles Times wrote about the baseball academy the Dodgers are running in Uganda.
  • The Dodgers’ initial 19 signings include seven pitchers, five infielders, four catchers, and three outfielders
  • Nine of these players are from Venezuela, seven from the Dominican Republic, and two from Mexico in addition to Atoji from Uganda.
  • Any signing bonuses $10,000 and below do not count against the bonus pool

Some signing photos





Dodgers 2024 international signings

Pos Player Country Bonus
Pos Player Country Bonus
SS Emil Morales Dominican Republic $2,400,000
OF Rafy Peguero Dominican Republic $350,000
C Allan Atoji Uganda
RHP Alexis Dominguez Dominican Republic
C Francisco Esponoza Venezuela
SS Yojackson Laya Venezuela
RHP Jose Lopez Dominican Republic
IF Reyli Mariano Dominican Republic
RHP Christian Muñiz Mexico
OF Erny Orellana Venezuela
OF Leider Padilla Venezuela
SS Heudy Peña Dominican Republic
RHP Axel Perez Dominican Republic
RHP Angel Ramirez Mexico
LHP Michael Ramírez Venezuela
C Eduardo Rojas Venezuela
IF David Romero Venezuela
C Eury Rosa Dominican Republic
RHP Carlos Sardiña Venezuela