Padres sign Cuban left-hander Hernandez

Padres sign Cuban left-hander Hernandez

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Nearly nine months after the signing period opened, the Padres haven't yet slowed their international spending spree.

On Thursday, the club signed 18-year-old Cuban left-hander Osvaldo Hernandez. According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the deal is worth $2.5 million.

Hernandez features a four-pitch mix, with a fastball that touches the mid-90s and three above-average offspeed pitches.

"I think [director of international scouting] Chris Kemp and his people on the international side did a really good job," Padres GM A.J. Preller said. "He's a 5-foot-10 left-hander, but he's got a really good delivery, good arm action. He's a strike-thrower, and his velocity kept increasing as we saw him more over the last five or six months. He's got an advanced feel for an 18-year-old pitcher."

Preller on signing Hernandez

Because the Padres have already blown past their international bonus pool allotment, the Hernandez signing comes with a 100 percent luxury tax -- essentially making the deal worth $5 million to the club.

Already, the Friars have inked seven of MLBPipeline's top 30 international prospects from 2016. Left-hander Adrian Morejon -- who received an $11 million bonus -- headlines that group and is the organization's No. 5 prospect overall. Outfielder Jorge Ona (No. 9), shortstop Luis Almanzar (No. 20) and outfielder Jeisson Rosario (No. 21) also check in on the Padres' top 30 list.

But the Padres' investment in the amateur international market runs deeper than just a few names at the top. The club has signed more than 40 players during the current signing period, and ownership has spent north of $80 million (including penalties), a total that more than doubles that of the next closest club.

"Again, it shows the emphasis of what we're trying to do, building an organization that's strong top to bottom and really having as much prospect depth as we can in the system," Preller said.

In 2016, Hernandez pitched for Cuba during the 18-and-under Pan American Championship in Mexico. He faced the United States twice, allowing three runs on five hits in 9 2/3 innings.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.