FRANCE – The Oakland A’s Coordinator of International Operations Dan Kantrovitz has announced that the American League West club has agreed to terms with French catcher Andy Paz-Garriga.
The 18-year-old, who resides in Toulouse, is originally from Cuba and immigrated to France in 2007 with his father. He is the first amateur free agent the A’s have signed from Europe.
Paz-Garriga is six-feet and 170 pounds and is a right-handed hitter. He has most recently played for STB Toulouse in the French League and has been a member of the French junior national baseball team.
According to the STB Toulouse website, Paz-Garriga went six-for-12 with a walk and no strikeouts in four games last year. He also threw out all four runners who attempted to steal off of him. In 2009, he attended the MLB Baseball Camp in Tirrenia, Italy.
Paz-Garriga was considered the top amateur talent in Europe this signing period. He has been scouted by the A’s European scout Tom Gillespie since he arrived in France three years ago.
The A’s were connected with Paz-Garriga at the start of the July 2nd signing period for amateur free agents, but did not come to terms with him until this week. He is expected to participate in the Dominican Summer League for the 2011 season.
ROUEN ADDS PITCHERS
The French club Rouen Huskies have announced that University of Vermont reliever Owen Ozanich will join the team this summer. The Huskies have won six consecutive French League titles.
The 21-year-old right-hander will bolster a pitching staff that includes standouts Keino Perez and Anthony Piquet. Ozanich, who was born in France, worked 48 innings out of the bullpen for the Catamounts before the baseball program was dropped after the 2009 season.
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Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.