Dec 13, 2012, 9:06 PM EST
Associated Press file photo
The Esmailyn Gonzalez scandal set the Nats international efforts back for years.
Leery of delving into the international market after getting burned by a young shortstop who falsified his name and age in order to secure a $1.4 million signing bonus six years ago, the Nationals have decided to dip their toes back into the Dominican Republic pipeline and have committed a healthy amount of money to sign another teenage infielder.
The Nationals have signed 16-year-old third baseman Neivy Pilier for $225,000, according to a club source, one of the largest bonuses they've paid to an international free agent since that $1.4 million mistake in 2006 to a young Dominican shortstop who claimed to be named Esmailyn Gonzalez.
Pilier, 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, has "a quick bat with lift and occasional power in his right-handed swing," according to Baseball America. Having just turned 16 on Aug. 1, he has a strong arm to play third base but still needs to refine his footwork.
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