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Baseball's international signing period is officially underway

Saturday’s Say Hey, Baseball is focusing on the international free agent market. Also, Cleveland basically won a doubleheader on Friday.

Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

It’s July 2nd, and while some fans may be focusing on hot dogs and fireworks during this holiday weekend, other fans are going to be glued to the internet and any other source of news that they rely on, because baseball’s international signing period has officially begun. This means that the groundwork for the next potential generation of international baseball stars is currently being laid as we speak.

There’s already been plenty of activity and the first day of the period has only just begun. The Braves are expected to be major players during this year’s period, and they’ll more than likely end up landing the big fish in this year’s pond — Kevin Maitan. Scouts have been raving about the 16-year-old Venezuelan for a while now, and it’s to the point where he’s been receiving comparisons to none other than Braves legend Chipper Jones. That’s a very lofty comparison, to say the least.

Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s have apparently made a splash by signing 17-year-old Cuban prospect Lazaro "Lazarito" Armenteros. Lazarito has been the source of plenty of speculation and hype since his defection from Cuba, so the fact that the A’s won these particular sweepstakes is a big deal. Granted, it’s best to temper your expectation for most of these prospects since — in the best case scenario — it’ll be a few years before we see these kids play at the major league level. Still, it’s hard not to get excited about potential impact signings, and that’s what most of baseball has in mind as this year’s international signing period begins.

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