With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, there have been significant changes to the international signing rules. Teams now have bonus pools with hard caps, just like they use for the Major League Draft in the first 10 rounds.
Under the new system, which began yesterday, July 2, on the beginning of the 2017-18 international signing period, most teams will have a bonus pool of $4.75 million. The clubs that receive a “Competitive Balance Pick” in Round A of the June 2017 MLB draft get a $5.25 million bonus pool. The clubs that get a “Competitive Balance Pick” in Round B get a $5.75 million pool. Any prospects signed for $10,000 or less do not count against the bonus pool.
That means the Indians had the max amount of money to work with this year, and they’ve definitely been spending it.
The Tribe inked Baseball America’s #5 ranked prospect George Valara for $1,300,000. Valara is an outfielder out of the Dominican Republic. He’s still just 16 years old, but already stands 6’1 and weighs 190 pounds.
The Indians weren’t finished there, as they managed to snatch up BA’s #17 ranked prospect Aaron Bracho, a 16-year old shortstop out of Venezuela for $1,500,000.
That covers the tip-top international prospects, but according to MLB Pipeline, the Indians also signed shortstop Jose Tena out of the Dominican Republic for $400,000. According to Todd Paquette, they signed an outfielder named Alexfri Palnez for $400,000. The Tribe also landed infielders Cesar Idrogo and Brayan Rocchio from Venezuela and outfielder Marlin Made and infielder Wilfri Peralta from the Dominican Republic for undisclosed amounts.
Officially, the team still has $2,150,000 left to spend, but that could change once more numbers start rolling in.
The Indians are also favorites to ink a few top prospects who aren’t eligible to be signed yet until August due to age restrictions. I’ll be updating this article with more information as it becomes available.
Current Indians who were signed internationally
Jose Ramirez (signed November 2009 out of Dominican Republic)
Danny Salazar (signed July 2006 out of Dominican Republic)
Erik Gonzalez (signed August 2008 out of Dominican Republic)
Carlos Santana (signed August 2004 out of Dominican Republic by the LA Dodgers)
Carlos Carrasco (signed November 2003 out of Venezuela by the Phillies)
Top Indians prospects who were signed internationally
Francisco Mejia (signed July 2012 out of Dominican Republic)
Yandy Diaz (signed September 2013 out of Cuba)
Yu-Cheng Chang (signed June 2013 out of Taiwan)
Willi Castro (signed July 2013 out of Dominican Republic)