A reporter almost never reveals his sources. But Ben Badler of Baseball America has sources that are telling him the Orioles could be looking to land a top player when the international signing period begins on July 2nd.
The article from the BA website is premium contest, but here are the first few lines if you have not seen it:
As if the American League East needs to become even more fiercely competitive.
The Yankees and Red Sox are always financial heavyweights in the international market. Last year the Rays joined the party by handing big bonuses to Venezuelan third baseman Cesar Perez and Venezuelan shortstop Juniel Querecuto. Now it appears that the Blue Jays and Orioles are ready to step up their overseas spending when the international signing period begins on July 2, the first date upon which 16-year-old international prospects can sign.
Sources have told Baseball America that the Orioles, a perennially frugal club in the international market, have increased their presence in Latin America and are looking to land a top player. The Orioles juggled their front office in March, swapping the roles of John Stockstill and and his brother David Stockstill by naming David Stockstill their international scouting director and John Stockstill their farm director. The Orioles were high on Dominican shortstop Miguel Sano last year, but many believe the Orioles could pull the trigger this year to sign a prospect at the top of the 2010 class.
I would welcome that news and can't wait to see it. The Orioles record of producing their own Dominican and/or Venezuelan players is terrible and they need much work in that department. I have written before that the O's need to beef up their international scouting.
If I hear anything in response to this report, I will happily pass it along.