The country of Brazil has a population of nearly 200 million people. Of all of those people, some fraction are teenagers. Of all of those teenagers, some fraction play baseball. Of all of those baseball-playing Brazilian teenagers, the best talent might be Luiz Gohara. And now Luiz Gohara is property of the Seattle Mariners. Not really, it's not like he signed away his soul or anything, but the Seattle Mariners aren't in the market for souls - they're in the market for baseball ability, and Gohara has some. On the other hand, Gohara has committed to playing his baseball for the Mariners and a lot of these prospects say that baseball is life so perhaps for all intents and purposes Gohara is property of the Seattle Mariners after all. The Mariners have paid to acquire the rights to a 16-year-old.
Gohara is a left-handed pitcher, and before you groan about the Mariners signing just another young pitcher, stop and consider what you're groaning about and then spend some time re-evaluating the decisions you made that left you so unhappy. It only kind of matters what Gohara is now, and where the Mariners are now, because Gohara is 16 and for all we know he could end up the Mariners' slugging left fielder of the future. There are those who act like the Mariners need to acquire bats and there are those who act like the Mariners only need to acquire bats. Members of this second group should never be put in charge of making important decisions. They probably shouldn't be allowed to sit in the emergency rows on airplanes.
Gohara has been signed for $880,000. Baseball America ranked him the No. 7 2012 international prospect, between Jose Castillo and Carlos Belen, who you know not a thing about. Remember that this is a prospect list, and a subjective prospect list, so don't put too much stock in the number. Just recognize that Gohara is thought of as a talented prospect and as a non-elite prospect. BA says that he throws 94 with a slider and that linked article in Portuguese says that he gets up to 96. So, live-armed Brazilian with a long long way to go. Gohara is the first international free agent off the top-20 list the Mariners have signed.
Writes Ben Badler at the BA link:
...some teams felt he was the top pitching prospect available in this year's international signing class.
Another way to put that would be "some teams did not feel like he was the top pitching prospect available in this year's international signing class." But according to the scouts, Gohara is somewhere near the top, so while we don't write about every single international free agent the Mariners sign, Gohara is an acquisition of some note. This isn't farm-system filler; this is, in theory, a farm-system boost.
Gohara has already undergone a physical, during which it was discovered that he's practically a baby. He's off to go train in Arizona. To close with a somewhat creepy angle, the Mariners' scout who signed Gohara has been watching him since he was 14. It makes sense, of course, because if you want to stay competitive you need to scout younger and younger, but, 14. Think about when you were 14. Do you even remember being 14? I turned 14 when I was a freshman in high school. I don't know if I'd even ever seen porn yet. One of the responsibilities of a scout is to evaluate a player's makeup. How in the hell do you evaluate the makeup of a 14, 15, or 16-year-old? "He's fucked up just like all the other ones." "There is not a thing he will not attempt to have sex with." This post about Luiz Gohara has taken a turn but if you're interested in knowing more about Luiz Gohara, recognize that he's 16 years old, and recognize that therefore he's probably kind of disgusting. Talented and disgusting. Teenagers are so stupid and gross. And now the Mariners have a new one!