The A's aren't known for handing out large contracts and could have some tough free-agency decisions to make on Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in the coming years.
But the A's are expected to make a splash on the international market. While MLB's season continues to be on hiatus with the coronavirus pandemic, the signing period still is scheduled to open on July 2 but the league does have the ability to delay the start date until Jan. 15, 2021.
Baseball America's Ben Badler reported Monday that the A's are likely to hand out the largest J2 international contract this year. Oakland is expected to sign outfielder Pedro Pineda out of the Dominican Republic for more than $4 million.
Pineda, 16, already is listed at 6-feet tall and 180 pounds. Here's how Badler describes Pineda's skill set: "He's a strong, athletic, physical center fielder with a loud tool set and a power/speed threat. He's a center fielder with excellent speed, a fast bat and the power potential to hit 25-plus home runs."
Here's a video of Pineda hitting and wearing A's gear last month.
Baseball America also has a longer video of Pineda launching homers.
Pedro Pineda is a power/speed threat from the Dominican.
He expected to sign with the @Athletics as the top-paid player in the 2020 international class in July, per @BenBadler.
Get to know Pineda here: https://t.co/c4ik59pzIX pic.twitter.com/AFoh3lAUN7— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) April 6, 2020
The A's signed shortstop Robert Pauson, MLB.com's No. 2 international prospect for 2019, to a $5.1 million contract last July. Pauson, 17, already is ranked as the A's No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He sits behind just Jesus Luzardo, A.J. Puk and Sean Murphy, all of whom made their big league debuts last year.
The A's can only hope Pineda has as much talent as Pauson. Both players should add to Oakland's top-heavy farm system.