Catcher Andy Paz of the French Elite League club Stade Toulousain is expected to sign with the Oakland Athletics organization on Friday according to the French newspaper L’Equipe. The 17-year-old, who came from Cuba to France four years ago, will receive a signing bonus of $55,000 plus another $40,000 to finance his studies.
A member of the French Junior National Team he won the bronze medal in last year’s European Championship in Bonn and will be playing in the World Junior Championship in Canada at the end of the month. Paz is leading Stade Toulousain with a .400 batting average (OBP .414/SLG .420) in 14 games (13 starts) through June 20. He has doubled once, scored nine runs and drove in a team-leading 15. He also threw out seven of eleven potential base stealers.
When Paz has signed the contract at the beginning of the international signing period, he is becoming the fourth French player to be signed by a professional organization and the third by a MLB club after Joris Bert (Los Angeles Dodgers, got released last year), Frederic Hanvi (Minnesota Twins, is playing in Gulf Coast League right now) and Anthony Cros (Quebec Capitales, playing in his first professional season).
Photo: © Gregor Eisenhuth www.eisenhuth-photographie.de