With the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement, 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 at the start of the 2017-18 international signing period last year, most teams had a bonus pool of $4.75 million. The clubs that received a “Competitive Balance Pick” in Round A of the June 2017 MLB Draft got a $5.25 million bonus pool. The clubs that got a “Competitive Balance Pick” in Round B got a $5.75 million pool. Any prospects signed for $10,000 or less do not count against the bonus pool.
The bonus pools for the 2018-19 international signing period this year are slightly increased, with the Indians having $5,504,500 in their bonus pool.
Yesterday, Cleveland Indians signed seven players for the 2018-19 signing period, including Gabriel Rodriguez (Venezuela), Junior Sanquintin (Dominican Republic), Angel Martinez (Dominican Republic), Dayan Frias (Colombia) Jesus Lara (Venezuela), Luis Ostos (Venezuela) and Sterling Romero (Dominican Republic).
Baseball America ranked Gabriel Rodriguez its No. 8 international prospect, Junior Sanquintin its No. 21 international prospect and Angel Martinez its No. 39 international prospect for the 2018-19 pool.
Rodriguez is 16 years old and is a right-handed shortstop listed at 6-foot-2, 174 pounds. Scouts say he has an advanced approach at the plate. Due to his size, he could move to third base as he fills out his frame.
Sanquintin received a $1.25 million signing bonus. He is another 16-year-old shortstop standing 6-foot, 172-pound and switch hits. Scouting reports say his defense was still a work in progress, but he has standout power.
Martinez received a $500,000 and is also a 16-year-old shortstop. He is 6-foot, 165 pound and switch hits. Scouting reports say his contact tool and line drive ability are strengths and he has an advanced feel for the game. He could potentially move to second base as he develops.
While not in Baseball America’s top rankings, Sterling Romero received a $650,000 bonus.
The Indians are also favorites to ink a few top prospects like Jose Ramirez’s younger brother who isn’t eligible to be signed yet 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 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 Chang (signed June 2013 out of Taiwan)
Willi Castro (signed July 2013 out of Dominican Republic)
George Valera (signed 2017 out of the Dominican Republic)