See also: International signings chart
As expected, the summer of 2006 has been a busy one on the international market. The Mariners, who aren’t shy about signing players from any corner of the globe, already had spent heavily earlier in the summer, signing Venezuelan outfielder Mario Martinez for $600,000.
Now, they have landed another impact international signee. Mariners international scouting supervisor Bob Engel confirmed that the organization signed Carlos Truinfel, a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic. Engel would only say that Truinfel signed for “a sizeable bonus,” but another source indicated to Baseball America that Truinfel received $1.3 million.
The second source also indicated that Truinfel’s bonus from the Mariners was not the largest offer the 6-foot-2, 175-pounder had received, but that his comfort level with the Mariners organization was the deciding factor that helped him make his choice.
Earlier in the summer, Truinfel’s agent, Scott Boras, indicated that he considered Truinfel perhaps the most well-rounded player available this summer, and Engel painted a picture of a player with present hitting ability and five-tool potential. He has personally scouted Truinfel, who also was scouted by Dominican supervisor Patrick Guerrero and Franklin Taveras.
“He has solid fundamentals at the plate. He’s 16, and he has an advance approach to hitting that really its the first thing that attracted our attention,” Engel said. “He has natural strength in his shoulders, hands and wrists, and he’s never lifted weights. I think he’s going to hit for power.
“He’s an above-average runner, he has good hands at shortstop and his arm is true and accurate. Physically, he’s the complete package. He could move rapidly.”
Few clubs sign players from as many locales as the Mariners, who have signed players from Japan (Ichiro, Kenji Johjima), Cuba (Yuniesky Betancourt), South Korea (Shin-Soo Choo, since traded to the Indians) and Australia (Chris Snelling) in the big leagues, not to mention players from all over Latin America. Engel expressed optimism for recent European signees as well, such as Italian third baseman Alex Liddi and Dutch righthander Greg Holmann, and now has added Truinfel and Martinez from hotbeds the Dominican Republic and Venezuela to the Mariners’ recent haul.
“Our ownership allows us to do many things internationally, so we’re fortunate,” Engel said. “We have a great stuff, and everyone on the staff contributes. We’re seeing some of those benefits in the major leagues now, and hopefully more in the future.”