Yankees top amateur signing bonuses


I figured I might as well point this out: I put together a post with the five largest signing bonuses the Yankees have ever given to amateur prospects over at MLBTR. Andrew Brackman‘s $3.55M bonus tops the list and Gary Sanchez is right behind him at $3M, but my personal fave is Wily Mo Pena coming in at number three. Hard to believe the Yankees gave him a big league contract as a 17-year-old way back in 1999. That’s pretty bananas.

Anyway, I figured I’d might as well mention it at RAB. You can see the rest of that series here, but I’ve still got about half the league left to do.

Categories : Asides


  1. Big Stein says:

    Why do you consider the WMP signing “bananas”? Even Theo was enthralled with WMP, trading Bronson Arroyo for him.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Giving a 17-year-old a $3.7M big league contract with a $2.4M signing bonus would be pretty extreme these days. Back in 1999 it was mind-blowing.

      • Big Stein says:

        I don’t know, I mean they gave 17 year old Sanchez a $3 million bonus just last year and 17 year old Bry Harper got a $10 million deal this year.

      • AndrewYF says:

        Could we get a retro scouting report on Wily Mo at the time he was signed?

        • Avi says:

          This is from Baseball America’s Top 20 Southern League (AA) prospects. Published 9/26/02:
          Wily Mo Pena, of, Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds)
          There were three strikes against Pena, one being that he often uses three strikes without putting the ball in play. He also didn’t have a very strong season, with hamstring problems partially to blame. And because the Yankees signed him to a $3.7 million major league contract in 1999, he’s now out of options.

          Acquired in the Drew Henson trade with New York, Pena has to stick on the Reds’ 25-man roster next year or be exposed to waivers. Cincinnati likely won’t run that risk because of Pena’s out-of-sight tools, but that scenario will make it hard for him to hone his ability.

          “It’s going to be hard for him to grow and develop and learn if he’s sitting in the big leagues and not playing a whole lot,” Chattanooga manager Phillip Wellman said. “There’s no question he’s got superstar qualities.”

          Pena has frightening bat speed that generates Sammy Sosa-like power. He also is quick on the bases and in the outfield, and he owns a powerful arm. Until he learns the strike zone, however, he’ll only be a tease.

        • Avi says:

          This pretty much tells you what the buzz around Willy Mo was like.


  2. Big Stein says:

    The prospect who will likely succeed Mo.


  3. dan says:

    the yanks print money.who cares if they dont work out….throw more money at them

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