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Reds sign Cuban IF Michel Triana, others as international signing period opens

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The Reds pick up a toolsy infielder.

For the first time since after the 2016 international signing window closed, the Cincinnati Reds are officially out of the penalty box when it comes to doling out bonuses larger than $300K. Of course, they were in that penalty box due to blowing past their allotted amount that year to sign the likes of Alfredo Rodriguez and Vlad Gutierrez, and have had their spending restricted ever since.

That changed as the 2019 window officially opened today, and the Reds immediately put their rediscovered financial might to work, signing Cuban infielder Michel Triana to a $1.3 million, as confirmed by MLB.com reporter Francys Romero earlier today.

Of course, these kinds of deals rarely happen overnight, and that’s certainly the case with Triana. Way back in February, Romero reported that these two sides had reached an initial agreement, with the caveat that the deal couldn’t be officially signed until the window opened on July 2nd. Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com detailed that extensively at the time, including a breakdown of his very, very brief work professionally.

It seems that the Reds won out on their bidding over the Houston Astros, who were also a team that was attempting to sign the infielder. In the 2017-2018 season in the Cuban National Series (their professional league), Michel Triana played in eight games for Villa Clara. The then 18-year-old hit .263/.417/.474 with a double, home run, five walks, and four strikeouts. BeisbolenCuba.com has a slightly different line of .308/.455/.538 over 33 plate appearances. The sample size is next to nothing, but it’s also the only statistical information that we have to look at, too.

As Bobby Nightengale of The Enquirer detailed earlier today, that $1.3 million bonus is only a portion of the some $5.94 million the Reds will be allowed to spend sans penalty in this particular window. Also of note is Nightengale’s mention that Triana is ranked as the #33 overall international prospect available by FanGraphs.

**UPDATE**

The Reds haven’t stopped with just Triana, as they’ve announced a flurry of other international signings, too. Chief among them is the signing of Braylin Minier, a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic who reportedly agreed to a deal worth some $1.8 million.