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Nationals Sign International FA 3B Anderson Franco + Rizzo On Cuban 1B Jose Abreu

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The Washington Nationals announced this morning that they'd signed 16-year-old international free agent third baseman Anderson Franco to what Baseball America is reporting is a $900,000 deal. Nats' GM Mike Rizzo also talked about another big international name yesterday...

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The Washington Nationals announced this morning that they had signed 16-year-old international free agent Anderson Franco, a 6'3'' third baseman who was ranked 29th on Baseball America's list of the Top 30 International Prospects:

Baseball America's Ben Badler, in writing about the signing, reported that the just-turned-16-year-old Franco signed for $900,000 after turning sixteen today. Here's the quick scouting report BA's Mr. Badler provided in his article on the Nationals' international signing:

At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Franco’s best tools are his raw power and his arm strength, with steady defense at third base. Franco trained with Arquimedes Guerrero (who is known as "Pla"), was represented by Rob Plummer and plays in the International Prospect League.

• International Prospect League video on Anderson Franco:


The Nationals issued the following press release this morning announcing the signing:

The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms on a professional contract with international free agent third baseman Anderson Franco. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo and Nationals Director of International Scouting Johnny DiPuglia made the joint announcement.

Franco, who was the top unsigned international free agent according to Baseball America, projects as an athletic right-handed power hitter. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from the Dominican Republic possesses a strong throwing arm and exceptional range on defense.

Franco is the latest international signing by the Nationals. Washington announced a number of international signings last month including, "... right-handed pitcher Edwin Adames, catcher Jose Cabello, right-handed pitcher Angel Guillen, left-handed pitcher Jose Jimenez, outfielder Victor Robles, outfielder Dany Rojas and catcher Edwin Trejos."

Nats' GM Mike Rizzo discussed another much talked about free agent yesterday on 106.7 the FAN In D.C.'s The Mike Rizzo Show with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier when listeners asked the General Manager about highly-regarded Cuban free-agent-to-be Jose Abreu, a 26-year-old first baseman who recently defected from his home country. "We've scouted him, obviously," Rizzo said. "We've scouted him quite a bit in the international tournaments. He's a big physical power hitter. I think limited to first base. And a guy that has a good approach to hitting from the right side and he's got big power. So, he's a big offensive type of player and we're going to continue to monitor him and see where it takes us."