Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Although the MLB lockout has prevented the Los Angeles Dodgers from signing players to their Major League roster, they have kept busy in adding to their Minor League system throughout the offseason.
The team was recently active in the Minor League free agent market as they re-signed Yefry Ramirez, along with adding infielder Eddy Alvarez and catcher Tomas Telis.
Now, L.A. has been focused on the international free agent market. The international signing period usually runs from July 2 through June 15, but the dates were delayed until January 15 through December 15 this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With their latest move, the Dodgers agreed to a Minor League contract with hard-throwing Japanese pitcher Kosuke Matsuda, according to Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
#Dodgers news: The team has signed Japanese right-handed pitcher Kosuke Matsuda to a minor-league contract
The 23-year-old reportedly throws a 96 mph fastball, but also had Tommy John surgery in July. He was playing in an independent league in Japan.
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) January 17, 2022
Matsuda was previously pitching for the Ibaraki Astro Planets, which is an independent Minor League organization in the Baseball Challenge League.
The 6’4 right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last July and only pitched in three games in 2021. He is still undergoing rehab.
Dodgers’ international signing period additions
Along with Matsuda, the Dodgers were busy signing eligible free agents on the first day of the international signing period despite being among the teams with the lowest bonus pool money at $4,644,000.
The Dodgers nevertheless came to terms with 30 international prospects, including top-end talents Samuel Muñoz (outfielder; Dominican Republic), Accimia Morales (pitcher; Venezuela) and Mairo Martinus (shortstop; Curacao).
Muñoz is ranked No. 7 on MLB.com’s top-50 international prospects for the current class, and Morales is No. 37. Meanwhile, Martinus is viewed by some as the best infielder from Curacao sign Ozzie Albies signed with the Atlanta Braves.
Of their additions, the bulk (20) hail from Venezuela. That’s followed by seven prospects out of the Dominican Republic being signed.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!