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Padres sign 16-year-old catching prospect Salas for $5.6M

A statue of Tony Gwynn at Petco Park in Downtown San Diego, Calif. Feb. 18, 2021.
Matt Hoffman
A statue of Tony Gwynn at Petco Park in Downtown San Diego, Calif. Feb. 18, 2021.

The San Diego Padres signed 16-year-old catcher Ethan Salas of Caracas, Venezuela, to a $5.6 million bonus on Sunday, the first day of the international signing period.

Salas is the consensus top overall prospect in this year’s class. The left-handed hitter is the younger brother of Jose Salas, one of the top prospects in the Miami Marlins system.

The Salas brothers have a long pedigree. Their father, Jose Antonio, played in the Atlanta Braves‘ organization; their uncle, Jose Gregorio, played in the Toronto Blue Jays‘ system; and their grandfather, Jose Gregorio, played in the Houston Astros’ and Kansas City Royals’ systems.

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According to scouting reports, Salas has raw power at the plate and strong defensive skills.

Also Sunday, the Washington Nationals signed outfielder Elian Soto, the 17-year-old brother of Padres right fielder Juan Soto. The Nationals traded Juan Soto to the Padres in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2.

The Texas Rangers signed outfielder Pablo Guerrero, the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and younger brother of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays.