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Pirates could pursue infielder Kevin Sanchez in July 2 international signing period

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Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Baseball America (subscription required) believes the Pirates' "top target" in the international signing period that begins tomorrow will be shortstop Kevin Sanchez. Sanchez is from El Cibao, a region in the northern part of the Dominican Republic where the Pirates are particularly active. BA also notes that the Pirates appear likely to sign another player from that area, catcher Samuel Inoa, to a deal in the low six figures.

The Pirates' international bonus pool this year is $2,111,900, ranking 22nd among MLB organizations. That isn't much to work with, especially with the Cubs and Dodgers set to exceed their pools this year, and it's no surprise that neither Sanchez nor Inoa rank in BA's list of the top 30 available prospects. Rene Gayo has, of course, done a good job in the past of getting good value from smaller-bonus players like Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, however. If previous years are any indication, they'll likely award six-figure bonuses to a fairly large number of players instead of going heavily after just one.