Mariners sign 6 more international players and claim Bukauskas

The Mariners confirm the additional of six more international signings including Jeter Martinez and claim J.B. Bukauskas off waivers.

As we wrote last week, the Mariners were reportedly set to sign international prospect Jeter Martinez. This speculation has now become a reality, with the M’s officially confirming the move.

The addition of Martinez is a impressive coup, with him rated the 42nd-best international prospect in baseball this year. According to sources, his deal is worth $600,000.

The 16-year-old pitcher is already 6 foot 3 and 185 lbs, with a projectable frame. Scouting reports see him as a starter as long as he continues on his current trajectory.

Five other signings

Aside from Martinez, the Mariners also confirmed the signing of five other international prospects. Here is some information regarding each, courtesy of Mariners’ Director of International Amateur Scouting Frankie Thon Jr:

Gustavo Beltran, 17, INF, Venezuela – Is a strong infielder who mostly plays second base, and is a plus-runner with a compact swing.

Alexander Garcia, 17, INF, Venezuela – A strong athlete who can play multiple positions and has good range on defense, while having an aggressive approach at the plate.

Jean Gutierrez, 17, OF, Venezuela – A decent athlete with raw power and solid speed, who has solid arm strength and is a power hitter at the plate.

Jose Romero, 18, RHP, Venezuela – Has an aggressive mentality on the mound, with a a solid breaking ball and a present velocity which reaches the low 90s.

Dylan Wilson, 17, RHP, Curacao – Has plus mechanics and utilizes his body well, with his standout weapon being his curveball.

Thon Jr. shared his thoughts on the six additions with the media. He said:

“We are excited to add this group of young talent to the organization. We are thankful to everyone involved in the process of evaluating and signing these players. It’s a memorable day for these six young men and their families. We look forward to the start of their professional careers with the Mariners.”


Mariners claim former first rounder

In an interesting move, the Mariners also claimed J.B. Bukauskas off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. This leads to the obvious question of what the M’s are getting in the pitcher?

Bukauskas was considered a top prospect coming out of college, leading to him being selected 15th overall in the 2017 draft. A mid-90s fastball is his main pitch, although he also has a decent slider.

However, the reality is the 26-year-old has not lived up to his potential. Originally projected to be a starter, he is now preferred as a bullpen option.

To date, Bukauskas has only seen 17.1 innings of action in the Majors, all during the 2021 season. His 7.79 ERA and 1.7888 WHIP highlighted his struggles, albeit he was severely compromised by a strain in his throwing elbow.

The Ashburn, Virginia native continued to have shoulder strain issues last year, which saw him on the 60-day injured list to start the season. He did impress though in Triple-A once he returned, going 0–1 with a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings, also recording 22 strikeouts and walking just four.

Certainly you can understand why Seattle would take a chance on Bukauskas, with him representing a gamble with little risk and plenty of upside. Outfielder Alberto Rodriguez was designated for assignment, to make room on the Mariners’ 40-man roster.

What is your take on the addition of Bukauskas? More specifically, do you see him as a worthwhile addition for the Mariners? Let us know in the comments section below.

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