On April 9th, the Milwaukee Brewers designated right-hander Damien Magnifico for assignment. Four days later the club dealt him to the Baltimore Orioles, but instead of receiving a player or cash considerations in return, the Brewers received the #15 international signing bonus slot. That deal gave the Brewers the ability to spend an additional $885,300 to dole out during the current international signing period, and it now appears as though the Brewers have spent it. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Brewers are finalizing a deal for outfielder/first baseman/pitcher Ernesto Martinez, Jr. that will pay him a $925K bonus.
Martinez, 17, was officially declared an international free agent on June 9th of last year. Even in the vast expanse of the internet, details on the player’s skills appear to be scarce. He stands at 6’6” tall and weighs about 220 lbs, and he bats and throws left-handed. He’d been training in the Dominican Republic, according to Sanchez.
According to his page at the Baseball-Reference Bullpen, Martinez was the star of the Cuban team during the 2014 U-15 Championships, batting .465/.477/.698 with 5 doubles, 11 runs, and 13 RBI. He left Cuba shortly after that to join his father, who was playing professionally in France.
Martinez was the youngest member of the French National Team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifier. He was listed as a pitcher and reportedly throws a 93 MPH fastball, but didn’t appear on the mound and made only one start as the designated hitter, going 0-3. He also played for France during the 2016 U-18 European Championship but hit only .211/.333/.263, though he record 4 RBI in 5 games.