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Brewers sign Venezuelan prospect Jesus Lujano

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There was little to no chatter surrounding the Brewers in regards to the international market prior to July 2. So far they've signed 2 prospects out of Venezuela with enough cap space for more potential signings.

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Jesse Sanchez is reporting the Brewers have signed outfielder Jesus Lujano. He gets a $450,000 signing bonus which brings their total so far this year up to $1 M. The other signing was catcher Jose Sibrian.

Lujano was not ranked by MLB Pipeline but he was among notable prospects outside Kiley McDaniel's Top 50 at FanGraphs. He's listed as a 16 year old center fielder.

It's interesting to note both signed players come from Venezuela. Because of the political turmoil it's become difficult to scout players there. Having now signed two players out of Venezuela it stands to reason the Brewers have been able to adequately scout there. It's not such a huge stretch, though still just speculation, to think they might continue signing players from that country.

Two remain as yet unsigned according to the J2 drafted board at FanGraphs: Alfredo Garcia-Barrios (LHP) and Ulises Martinez (C). Martinez is projected for a $400,000 signing bonus and Barrios a $350,000 bonus. The Brewers signed Sibrian and Lujano to bonuses exactly $100,000 over McDaniel's projections. So if we factor that in signing the last two Venezuelan born players could cost between $750,000-950,000.

The Brewers total allotment this year is $2,389,300. They could very easily sign both those players and still have approximately $439,300-639,300 left over for one more signing. They could also try to trade any unused slot value, though that would likely have to be done soon. Teams that are going to want to trade for slot are limited in number and will want acquire their slots sooner rather than later.

In an earlier article I made note of the Brewers reported interest in Andy Ibanez. He still remains unsigned though I have heard nothing about continued interest in him from Milwaukee. McDaniel projected him to go for $700,000. If the Brewers are still interested in him they'd be able to sign him and likely just one of the Venezeulan prospects. It is possible for them to afford all three without going into the penalty range but it's unlikely That is unless they acquire another teams slot value.

Teams can trade for an additional 50% of their original cap space. That means the Brewers could increase their allotment by a total of $1,194,650. That would be more than enough to sign Ibanez, Barrios, and Martinez. But again, to be very clear this is all just speculation. I've not heard a single thing about any of these players in connection with the Brewers.

While non of these players, including the ones the Brewers actually have signed, are considered among the top of this year's class it's still nice to see them not ignore the international market. It might even be a savvy move to scoop up multiple mid or low-tier prospects while staying under the penalty range. Teams like the Dodgers and Cubs have been signing up as many prospects as they can so it might have been impossible for the Brewers to get a top tier player this year anyway. I also wonder if perhaps prospects from Venezuela are going under the radar because of the difficulties involved in scouting them. Hopefully we'll get an idea in a few years. Since these prospects are around 16 it will take extra long for them to surfaced from the minors.