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International Signings: Royals sign Dominican shortstop Ricky Aracena, Mariners expected to sign top outfielder

The Royals and Mariners appear to be the latest teams in the market for foreign-born talent.


Dominican shortstop Ricky Aracena is headed to the Kansas City Royals, and he'll cost the team just $850,000, according to's Jesse Sanchez.

Aracena might not have talent on par with that of other recent international signees, but he still projects to contribute when he makes it to the majors, with above-average switch-hitting and defensive ability.

Aracena ranks 24th on Sanchez's list of the 30 best international prospects, and we'll defer to the expert for a better look at the recent signee and what he brings to the table.

Think Rafael Furcal. At 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, Aracena isn't the biggest middle infielder on the market, but he makes up for his lack of size with a good bat and above-average tools.

Scouts like Aracena's switch-hitting abilities and that he has shown equal bat speed and homer power from both sides. He has impressed evaluators with his sound approach at the plate and his ability to drive the ball from gap to gap during Dominican Prospect League games.

Defensively, Aracena has the hands, footwork and range to stay at shortstop once he signs with a Major League team and enters the club's academy. An above-average arm also helps his chances of staying at shortstop.

Aracena's signing is significant, but it likely won't be the biggest international deal this week. According to Sanchez's Twitter, the Mariners will likely introduce Venezuelan outfielder Brayan Hernandez for a fee of $1.85 million.

Hernandez, who ranks eighth on Sanchez's top international prospects list, is a contact hitter who could develop into much more. Based on Sanchez's scouting report, it looks like Hernandez has the potential to develop into a five-tool player, though we'll let you see for yourself: