Friday, July 04, 2008

A's Sign Coveted Dominican Teen

The Oakland Athletics have signed 16-year-old Michel Inoa out of the Dominican Republic, giving the flame-throwing righty a $4.25 million bonus.  Widely considered the top international prospect available, the 6-foot-7 hurler already boasts a 96 mph fastball to go with a polished breaking ball and a serviceable changeup.  This represents the largest bonus ever awarded to a non-Cuban prospect from Latin America.  Inoa projects as a top of the rotation starter and was pursued by several other teams including the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds.  Sources familiar with the negotiations report that Inoa turned down a larger bonus from the Reds due to his preference for Oakland's history of developing young pitching.  Inoa will see his first professional action in the Dominican Summer League where he will go about adding weight to his 205-pound frame.