The 2012 international free agent signing period opens on Monday, though this year every team will be limited to $2.9M in bonuses thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Like the draft, there are harsh penalties for exceeding that amount. Next year the spending pool will be based on the standings, so the more you win the less you get.
Ben Badler published a list of this summer’s top 20 prospects, though you need a subscription to read the scouting reports. Both Badler and Enrique Rojas say the Yankees are expected to sign Venezuelan catcher Luis Torrens (#2 prospect) to a sizable deal. They’ve also been connected to Venezuelan outfielder Alex Palma (#4) and Dominican shortstop Wendell Rijo (#10). You can read more about Torrens and Palma here while Balder describes Rijo as a strong runner with power and tremendous baseball instincts, though he may wind up at second base due to his weak arm.
The Yankees have signed Cuban southpaw Omar Luis Rodriguez ($4M) and Dominican right-hander Manolo Reyes ($600k) in recent weeks, their last chance to spend freely before the cap hits. They also made an aggressive offer for Jorge Soler ($25-30M).