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Rays add 27 players on opening day of international signings

The most promising include outfielders Jose Lazaro Contreras and Jose Sanbria, and shortstop Miguel Tamares.
Outfielder Jose Lazaro Contreras poses with Rays scouting staff in the Dominican Republic after Saturday's signing.
Outfielder Jose Lazaro Contreras poses with Rays scouting staff in the Dominican Republic after Saturday's signing. [ Tampa Bay Rays ]
Published Jan. 15

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays struck deals with 27 young players on Saturday’s delayed opening of the international signing period.

Among the most promising:

• Outfielder Jose Lazaro Contreras, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound 16-year-old from Cuba with five-tool potential known for his speed (6.6 60-yard dash), power and arm (92 mph throws from outfield)

• Outfielder Jose Sanbria, a 16-year-old from Venezuela with a similar talent and tools profile

• Shortstop Miguel Tamares, a fast (6.3 60), athletic 17-year-old switch hitter with a strong arm from the Dominican Republic

Outfielder Jose Sanbria, a multi-talented 16-year-old from Venezuela, was joined by his family for Saturday's signing with the Rays.
Outfielder Jose Sanbria, a multi-talented 16-year-old from Venezuela, was joined by his family for Saturday's signing with the Rays. [ Tampa Bay Rays ]

Tamares was ranked the 40th-best prospect in the class by Baseball America; none of the others made the top 50 by Baseball America or mlb.com.

Also signing or agreeing to terms were:

• Outfielders Angel Mateo, Jordany Oliver and Neifi Vazquez (Dominican Republic)

• Pitchers Yeison Garcia, Cristhofer Gonzalez, Danny Hilario, Ismael Laureano, Geudis Ramos, and Jesus Ullola (Dominican Republic), and Alvaro Gamez, Maikel Hernandez, Anthony Manriquez, Moises Palma, and Yorman Primera (Venezuela)

• Shortstops Nicandro Aybar, Felix Cotes, Juanfel Peguero and Roosbert Tapia (Dominican Republic), and Ricardo Gonzalez and Rodrigo Romero (Venezuela)

• Catchers Enderson Delgado, Larry Martinez and Jhonny Perez (Venezuela)

• Infielder Narcison Polanco (Dominican Republic)

Outfielder Neifi Vasquez was joined by his parents on Saturday in his native Dominican Republic as he made his signing with the Rays official.
Outfielder Neifi Vasquez was joined by his parents on Saturday in his native Dominican Republic as he made his signing with the Rays official. [ Tampa Bay Rays ]

All deals but Tamares’ are final.

The Rays went into the signing period, which for the second straight year was delayed from the usual July 1 start date due to the pandemic, with a signing bonus pool of $5,721,200, the second-largest grouping. The signing window is open until Dec. 15.

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