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
  • Big Stein

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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      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

        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.

        • Big Stein

          it’s all relative, what blew me away was the $30 million deal for Chapman. thats my shock threshold.

          • Avi

            Jose Contreras got $32 Mil from the yanks when Chapman was twelve years old.

            • Ed

              Contreras was also much older and more of a finished product. He had also dominated in an exhibition game between the Orioles and Cuba.

              Chapman was more more raw and hadn’t faced as tough competition.

        • mbonzo

          Yup and for Sanchz it was bananas, and Harper was extreme!

          • Big Stein

            The Sanchize is already ranked the 25th best prospect by Piliere. That seems to like money well invested.

            • Gonzo

              Callis said he’ll probably be backend 100.

            • Avi

              I like.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Right, and Sanchez was the third largest bonus ever given to int’l prospect. Harper’s was the largest ever given to a draft prospect not out of a four year college. And 2009-2010 money has different value than 1999 money.

          Wiffy Mo’s deal was the record for international prospects for a decade.

          • Big Stein

            I misinterpreted your original point, I thought you meant why would he be so coveted.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            The big league contract was what is really bananas. It also likely had a major adverse effect on his career as he was forced to stick in the bigs and never got a great chance to develop further.

      • AndrewYF

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

        • Avi

          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

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


          • Avi

            Read the back of the card.

  • Big Stein

    The prospect who will likely succeed Mo.


  • dan

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