The Rangers had an extra-large contingent this week in the Dominican Republic, where the team's top evaluators watched several prominent Latin American amateur prospects.
One of the main players the Rangers had eyes on was 21-year-old Cuban center fielder Julio Pablo Martinez, who was part of a private workout that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and his staff watched on Monday and Tuesday.
Martinez is the top international prospect available, or will be once Major League Baseball grants him free agency. A lefty with a promising combination of athleticism, speed and power at a premium position, Martinez's talent is commensurate with a first-round pick. Based on his present ability, he should be ready for a high Class A or Double-A assignment.
The Rangers, Yankees and Marlins appear to be the favorites to sign Martinez. Two weeks ago, Martinez flew to Florida for private workouts with the Marlins and Yankees.
Given the lack of bonus pool space that both the Yankees and Marlins have for the current 2017-18 signing period, if one of those teams sign Martinez it would be for the 2018-19 signing period, which opens on July 2. The Rangers had budgeted 2017-18 bonus pool space to sign Shohei Ohtani, and while they have since spent some of that money, they still have pool space remaining, so if they sign Martinez it would likely be right away for the 2017-18 period.