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Cleveland Indians have signed three international free agents in 2015

The International Signing Period started for the calendar year July 2015-June 2016 last week. As noted in a few threads, the Indians have been somewhat active.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The new International Signing Period (which runs for July 2015 through June 2016) began last week. The Indians have been somewhat active already.

Eligible signees include any player outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico who has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico within the previous year, and who is or will be 17 before September 1 of this year or by the completion of his first Minor League season.

Although there is no international draft (yet), each team is assigned a slot pool based on reverse order for last year's record. Each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool. The signing bonus pools are made up of four slot values. The Indians have a total of $2,204,900 in the bonus pool.

Any team that exceeds its pool has to pay a 100 percent tax on the overage. Teams that exceed their pool by 5 to 10 percent are also not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period. Teams that exceed their pool by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period (Thanks to Jesse Sanchez at for this information)

The most severe penalty though is for teams that exceed their bonus pool by more than 15%. They are restricted to signings of $300,000 or less for the next two seasons. This will apply to the Angels, Rays, Yankees and Red Sox in 2015. Of special importance is that the Diamondbacks also exceeded this total and they have the highest pool money to spend, $5,393,900, meaning they are allowed to spend the most money, but cannot spend very much of it on any one player.

Teams may trade their slots though, and that's exactly what Arizona did over the weekend, swapping slots with the Phillies in exchange for prospects Chris Oliver and Josh Taylor. I expect the Yankees and Red Sox to trade theirs as well.

The Indians have signed the following players so far:

Jose Fermin: SS, Dominican Republic - $500,000

Baseball America ranked him as the #28 prospect this year. Baseball America lists him at 5-11, 165 pounds, and as a switch-hitter who is better from the right side. He is expected to stick at SS.

Henry Pujols: 3B, Domincan Republic - $600,000

Pujols is 6-2, 200 pounds and just 16. He has right-handed power and has played for the international team already. He could stick at third or move to a corner outfield position.

Luis Oviedo: P, Venezuela - $375,000

Oviedo is as skinny as Triston McKenzie, who the Tribe just drafted. At 16 he is 6-3 and 175 pounds. His fastball is almost 90 mph and his changeup is advanced for his age according to scouts.


Those signings leave the Tribe $729,900 available for any other player(s). They may also sign as many players as they like for fewer than $10,000 and those do not count against the pool value.