A’s break the bank for Inoa


Baseball America has confirmed it: 16-yr old phenom Michel Inoa has agreed to a $4.25M deal with Oakland. The top prospect for the upcoming July 2nd international free agent signing period, Inoa’s bonus is a record, blowing the $2.44M given to Wify Mo Pena in 1999 right out of the water. The 6’7″, 210 lb righty has been described as a “once-in-a-generation” talent, but I’m always skeptical about the hype surrounding international free agents, especially ones represented by American agents. The signing will be formally announced Wednesday, and will likely inflate bonuses beyond comprehension.

Categories : Asides


  1. Steve says:

    Nice job, looks like you guys had this first from the sites I frequent.

  2. Jamal G. says:

    Yeah, you’re right about the inflation. Saber Scouting is predicting the same especially for Adis Portillo (RHP, Venezuela) who is the consensus #2 pitcher following Inoa.

  3. Steve says:

    BTW-When the A’s raise the ceiling for every international signing bonus from here forward, are they “Bad for Baseball”? Or does that only apply when the Yanks do stuff like this?

    Just wondering.

  4. Jamal G. says:

    The guys over at nyyfans.com must be ready to leap off a bridge, they’ve been dying for this guy ever since his name surfaced in Spring Training.

  5. Steve says:

    The Dellin Betances comps are tempting, but let’s be honest. Dellin is still very much a work in progress with his walk rate being what it is.

    Anyway, who cares. Yu Darvish will solve everything. And only cost 120 million.

  6. Ivan says:

    What was Montero’s Bonus? wasn’t like 2M, most for positional player?

    • whozat says:

      They just said that Wily Mo Pena got 2.44 mil, and that was the record. In this very post.

    • Steve says:

      It was 2 million, but the Yanks cleverly paid him in Venezuelan Pesos. So when Chavez defaulted on his IMF loans, the ecomony and currency collapsed and he was left penniless.

    • Mike A. says:

      Montero got $1.6M when it was all said and done. He originally agreed to a $2M bonus, but it was adjusted down after it was discovered he was a few months older than originally thought. There have been a couple $2M+ bonuses handed out, and it’s only going to get more and more ridiculous.

  7. Rich says:

    It makes a lot more sense than giving, for example, Juan Pierre $44 million.

    • Steve says:

      I have 2 words for you.



      and all it will cost you is 120 million. Which is. . . . . about 30 Michael Inoa’s.

  8. Old Ranger says:

    Once again, I believe the Yanks did the right thing in regards to Yu. Let someone else pay all that $$$$ for a pitcher no one really knows anything about. We all know how the storys and hype gets some of the GMs’ Krazy! They’ll buy anything…with the right wrapping on it, and some won’t. Good for the Yanks. 27/08?

    • Joltin' Joe says:

      Can we get Ben Sheets then? He’d be reasonable at least and the injury history is actually a bit overblown, he’s been good for 25+ starts a year. That’s -10 of the expected, but on a possible four-year deal, why not?

    • B says:

      Yu Darvish is only 21 years old with a mid to high 90s fastball and flithy stuff. I’d say pay what ever it takes to get him. You want a big 3, how about:

      Chamberlain 22
      Hughes 21
      Darvish 21

      • Old Ranger says:

        Yanks had a deal set up with him, then they wanted more $$$. Yanks said NO WAY! I believe they did the right thing. Once someone makes a deal…stick to it!
        Also, I keep saying, how many people (in Baseball) have really seen much (if anything) of this kid? Is it all hype, or is he for real? Yes, it would make a great rotation, but it’s not worth it. Just me…a deal is a deal! 27/08?

      • Travis G. says:

        we dont even know if Darvish will be posted. i’ve read articles that give it only a 10-15% chance. he’s already as big as Matsuzaka and 6 years younger. it would really hurt NPB. and even if he is posted, who’s to say the sawx or another team wont make another outrageous offer.

  9. David Brown says:

    I am so happy the Yankees stood up to Inoa, Katz, and bad bargaining. I know what Boras would have done when it comes to Cole, if we would have given in (Maybe a little REVENGE over Arod?). I will “SETTLE” for Richardson, O’Brien, and the others we drafted (Particularly if we sign Cole and Lassiter), and be happy about it. PS: I NEVER want to hear anymore whinning from Beane about “Not being able to compete”. That argument is finished in my book.

    • Casper says:

      Oakland is giving Inoa 4.25 a million bonus. The Yanks signed A-Rod for 10 yrs – 275 million +. There’s a slight difference there.

      • Chip says:

        You’re right, A-Rod has a history of being good in the majors while Inoa has a slim chance to one day play in the majors

  10. Nefarious jackson says:

    Gardener called up!!!!!

  11. Nefarious jackson says:

    Gardener called up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Jamal G. says:

      Also this would seem to say that if not for the three LHP we faced in Pittsburgh and the two LHP we faced against the Mets that Brett Gardner would have been called up last week.

      • Steve says:

        Gardner hits lefties better than Righties. Look up his splits.


        And despite the fact that Dave Robertson is right handed, his numbers are actually much better vs lefties because of that cutter/slider thing he throws. This is why I’ve been looking for both to be promoted for the past 6 weeks. They’re exactly what we need on this team.

        • steve (different one) says:

          Kei Igawa is one of the better lefties in AAA.

          that should tell you all you need to know about the quality of lefty pitching in AAA.

          if you are lefty, and you are decent, you are in the majors.

          i am skeptical that Gardner has some sort of special ability to hit LHP.

  12. Baseballnation says:

    I’m glad the Yankees balked at Inoa’s price…The A’s probably bidded against themselves anyway and the more important thing out of this is what it will do to future IFA talent. When these kids are receiving the kind of money that Top high schools and collegiat players are recieving then think basebal in general will have to look into the matter.

  13. Steve says:

    The stuff I’ve read on him has comps with Dellin Betances. We already have a Dellin, and he only cost us a 1 mil signing bonus. I wonder if there would be so much hype if he was in the USA player draft with a much larger talent pool than the DR. I kind of doubt it.

    The bonus inflation is as much a sign of the new economics of Baseball as anything else. Mediocre free agents cost the moon, revenue sharing has allowed small market teams to hold on to their young talent with contract extensions, and teams like Tampa and Arizona are succeeding with loaded farm systems. This bonus inflation will probably accelerate in the near future, despite the high risk nature of these prospects.

    • Reggie C. says:


      Imo, there is such a thing as OVERKILL. You can have too many RHP in the lower minors and at some point have them vie for too few starting spots which would stunt a development or two.

      We’re gonna have RHPs Betances, Heredia, Brackman, and Gerrit Cole all starting next season at High-A or below. No worries Cashman … we’re stocked in RHPs — move on and sign the best IF bats out there!!

  14. Ban Bud says:

    Seeing Oakland shell out millions for an untested 16 year-old is like watching the hobo ahead of you at the supermarket checkout pay for his lobster and steaks with food stamps. Can we end the ridiculous welfare scams that provide poormouth teams like Oakland will millions in free cash every year and get back to real competition?

  15. David Brown says:

    I agree 100% with Ban Bud about “Helping poor teams like Oakland”. Beane gets so much coverage it is not funny, and he has ZERO titles (I wonder if it has anything to do with his sexuality?). Proven winners like Scheroltz in Atlanta, and (As much as I hate to say it), Epstein, do not get HALF of the coverage of Beane. Look at a guy like Jerry Reese with the Giants, signs NO free agents from other teams, but knows how to draft, and wins the Super Bowl, and gets little to no coverage nationally. As for Inoa, I say no big deal. There is exactly ONE Latin American pitcher in the Hall Of Fame (Juan Marachal), with two more locks (Mariano and Pedro), and one other stands a chance (Santana). So it is not like the odds are great we missed a Hall Of Famer. I will be happy if we sign Cole and Marshall instead.

  16. steve (different one) says:

    the Yankees had an agreement with this guy and Inoa backed out, right?

    if that is the case, the Yankees were right to walk away.

  17. JohnnyC says:

    That’s Billy Bean, not Beane, David.

  18. David Brown says:

    Signing with Oakland is perhaps the WORST decision Inoa could have made. Oakland is right up there with Dolphins Stadium as being the pits as far as baseball stadiums are concerned (And good luck getting a new stadium in Oakland or Freemont (Where they HOPE to move).) In addition, they have had quite a few Hall Of Fame types pass through there since they left Kansas City (Hunter, Jackson, Eckersley, Henderson, McGuire to name a few), and they are STILL the 2nd team in the Bay Area (Despite the fact that they won FOUR titles to San Francisco’s ZERO). I would have chosen the Reds or even the Rangers over the A’s (At least I have a MAJOR LEAGUE STADIUM there (And in the case of Cincy, fans who actually care about the team)).

  19. David Brown says:

    It is sad to say that quite often you ARE NOT set for life making $4.2m when you hit age 16. After you are done paying taxes on it, starting with FEDERAL TAXES. In addition, do not forget how high California’s STATE TAXES are (As opposed to Texas, where there are NONE). Throw in the agent fees, your family,and all the money grubbing entourages that follow some of these kids around, things are not as nice as they seem. and the money can go real fast.
    In addition, I would like a prospect to be in a situation where there are positive role models around him , who understand his language and culture, and could get him used to playing in the US (Like a Jorge Posada). This is what Cleveland did with Victor Martinez, and he is repaying the Tribe, by mentoring young Latin players.
    Players whose first language is Spanish, could make far more money than $4.2m if they are in the RIGHT situation (Look at David Ortiz or Jose Reyes as examples (And I HATE the Sox and Mets)). Playing in a place with little if ANY endorsement possibilities (Oakland) is not the financial way to go.

  20. Travis G. says:

    didnt the reports on wily mo say he was a ‘once in a decade’ type talent?

  21. felixpanther says:

    can’t imagine Yankees outbid by Oakland, it’s a joke!

  22. David Brown says:

    I hate when players are labeled stuff like “One In A Generation”, like they are doing with Inoa. Baseball is by far the toughest sport to project players in. Everyone knew Lebron James, would be a superior talent coming out of High School, but even HE was not considered ONE in a generation (Kobe and D. Wade were playing when he came out, and they are not exactly garbage). The same thing applied to Arod when he was drafted by Seattle (Griffey Jr and Bonds were playing). In addition, stuff like ONE injury can ruin a player (See Brien Taylor). I have heard a LOT of comparisons with Felix Hernandez, and “King Felix” is not even Josh Beckett or Jake Peavey (Let alone Roger Clemens, Greg Maddox, or Pedro Martinez). I remenber last year when Edward Salcedo (Also of the Dominican Republic) was compared to Arod by Scott Boras, and it turned out to be a hoax (AT BEST). Can we first see Inoa in the LOW MINORS before electing him to Cooperstown?. Finally, I wonder if the Yankees (Joba), San Francisco (Tim Lincecum), and Tampa Bay (Evan Longoria), are crying that they did not get “One In A Lifetime” players in the 2006 draft?

  23. [...] too much time discussing the goings-on (especially since this year’s big prize, Michel Inoa, is already off the market), but luckily Eric at Pending Pinstripes will. He’s got a list of confirmed signings set up [...]

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