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The "Melenudos" caused a sensation by securing the services of shortstop Jorge Mateo and outfielder Sócrates Brito, undoubtedly the team's most notable signings.

With the start of the second phase of free agency in the history of the Dominican Baseball League (Lidom) (Lidom), the action has been nothing short of exciting.

The Toros del Este have made headlines with their recent acquisitions, as announced by general manager Jesús Mejía Armenteros.

Among the new signings are infielder Iván Castillo, starting pitcher Pedro Fernández and relievers Rafael Dolís and José Adames.

Lions Secure Tokens

In just two days, three top-tier free agents have already found new teams, with one of these standing out in particular.

The "Leones del Escogido" have stolen the limelight from last season's leaders, the "Toros del Este", not only by signing five players, but also by acquiring two of the most coveted names on the market.

Along with Mateo and Brito, the "Melenudos" reinforced their roster with starting pitchers Gabriel Ynoa and Phillips Valdez, along with reliever Michael Ynoa.

It should be noted that Mateo was previously affiliated with the "Toros", while Brito and Valdez were part of the "Estrellas Orientales", and both Ynoa belonged to the "Gigantes del Cibao".

Toros also secure signings

Castillo, 28, brings extensive experience from six seasons in the Dominican League with Leones and Gigantes. With a lifetime batting average of .261, he has accumulated 59 runs scored, 45 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts in 136 games.

His standout performance came in 2019-20, where he ranked third in hits, with 48, and fifth in RBIs, with 18.

Since his 2018-19 debut, Castillo has consistently ranked among the league leaders, ranking 11th in hits and 13th in stolen bases among active players.

Meanwhile, Pedro Fernandez, a 29-year-old starting pitcher, was initially selected by the Eagles in 2014 but had limited participation, pitching just 4.2 innings in two seasons.

Later signed by Jesus Mejia at the Giants, Fernandez took the opportunity to showcase his skills as a starter, delivering solid performances.

The Free Agent Market Continued to Shift

Left-handed pitcher Wandy Peralta sealed a deal with his home team, the Giants, marking the end of Lidom's search for left-handed relievers in free agency. Given his Major League status, Peralta's season with the Giants this year could present challenges.

However, the proximity to their residence could significantly tip the balance, probably serving as the deciding factor in the agreement between the two parties.

Meanwhile, reliever Luis González, along with utility players Erick Mejía and Alfredo Reyes, opted to sign contracts with the Águilas Cibaeñas, all three coming from the Estrellas camp.

Gonzalez, a dominant left-handed reliever in Lidom for nearly a decade, is coming off his best season, sporting an impressive 0.86 ERA in 21 innings.

With only two clean runs allowed, 26 strikeouts and just six walks, his skills remain unmatched.

Following these signings, the Eagles made headlines by parting ways with Juan Carlos Pérez after his 15 years of service, during which he also served as club captain following the departure of Héctor Luna after the 2016-17 season.

The decision, part of the team's restructuring efforts for the upcoming season, was announced shortly after the signings.

For the second consecutive free agency period, the Estrellas suffered notable talent losses, including Socrates Brito, Phillips Valdez, Luis Gonzalez, Alfredo Reyes and Erick Mejia.

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