The Blue Jays have a long history of investing ion the international market, and they continued that trend on Wednesday, the first day of the international signing period, by agreeing to terms with teenage right-handed pitcher Juan Meza from Venezuela for $1.6 million, according to an industry source.
The club did not confirm the signing.
Meza, who is ranked No. 11 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is among the most coveted hurlers on the international market this year.
Scouts like Meza's athleticism and his lean muscular build, and the 170-pound righty is expected to fill out his six-foot frame as he matures. Meza has a fastball that hovers in the 88- to 93-mph range, an effective changeup and a decent slider. His curveball is expected to improve, and some believe he could end up being the best pitcher in the class.
Meza is from Barinas, Venezuela, and his trainer is former Major League infielder Carlos Guillen of the Carlos Guillen Academy.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2013 for the international signing period. Toronto's bonus pool total for this year's signing period is $2,852,900.