Baseball America’s Top 20 International Free Agents

Game 77: De Facto Ace
Saturday Night Open Thread

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).

Game 77: De Facto Ace
Saturday Night Open Thread
  • Rush Stern- megarobothead

    where all my mexican ni-friends at?

  • BK2ATL

    You can’t even see Badler’s list, much less the scouting reports, without a subscription.

    • Mike Axisa

      My bad, I had the wrong link in there. Fixed now.

  • Will (the other one)

    Are there restrictions on the actual salaries teams can pay IFAs, or are bonuses the only things that are limited by the CBA?

    • Need Pitching

      Players aren’t allowed to sign multi-year contracts, I believe, so it wouldn’t matter (unless there were off the books, hand shake salary agreements trying to circumvent the rules.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    So much illegal shit goes on with these prospects, especially in the DR, that who’s to say some team doesn’t show up to some kids house with a suitcase full of cash

    Hopefully, Cashman is the most devious of them all.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I’m willing to bet major league teams would not want to circumvent their own rules like that. The punishment would be quite severe.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

        I wouldn’t doubt that someone like a Bill Belichick might give it some consideration

    • Brian S.

      Give Barreto all the money.

  • Need Pitching

    I would love to see the Yankees just blow through the 2.9M cap and stock up on young talent. Maybe use a big chunk of the 25-30M they were willing to pay Soler to spread the risk among multiple prospects.
    For example, if they were willing to spend about 15M (including penalties), they would be able to hand out about 9M in bonuses. Considering the new rules should somewhat control IFA bonuses, they should be able to get a lot of bang for that buck, especially if other teams limit themselves to the soft cap. Stock up on higher level prospects this IFA period, and deal with the consequences of not being able to sign top level guys next year (not that they’d be able to sign many, considering a further reduced bonus pool for the Yankees next year.)
    Of course, I highly doubt the Yankees would actually do this.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

      What are the penalties for going over the cap?

      I know the penalties for overpaying for the regular draft are pretty nasty and include forfeiting draft picks.

      • Need Pitching

        100% tax on the bonus money over the cap
        If they exceed the cap by more than 15%, next year they won’t be able to offer any player a bonus over 250K

        My thinking is 9M this year would get a lot more of those over 250K bonus players than 2.9M this year and roughly 2M next year would, so they wouldn’t really be losing out (unless next year’s IFA class was much stronger than this years)

    • Voice of Reason

      or maybe do that last year when there were no consequences, like the Rangers had the good sense to do

      • Need Pitching

        yeah, that’s one of many reasons I don’t expect the Yankees to employ this strategy

      • Paul VuvuZuvella

        We don’t really know if the Rangers acted with good sense. The Yankees might have acted with good sense deciding that the talent pool just wasn’t worthy of throwing a ton of money at despite the fact that the CBA limitations were kicking in this year. We’ll know in a few years.

    • viridiana

      Need pitching, IMO this is the Post of the Year (ell, month, anyway).

      • viridiana

        (*well,* month anyway). May be best and only way for Yanks to get top young talent with new CBA.

  • viridiana

    With all the rewards for incompetence in the new CBA, how long before some teams start to tank to load up on picks?

    • Ted Nelson

      With the uncertainty involved in amateurs baseball players, probably forever. If teams wanted to tank for a Bryce Harper that was always an option. Tanking more than a few games to get a sandwich pick or an extra mill towards IFAs would probably be a really, really terrible idea.

      • Ted Nelson

        And actually, the sandwich pick are decided by revenue… So literally the only reward is the IFA $. Do you really think teams actively want less revenue to get sandwich picks?

        The overreaction to the CBA on here is ridiculous. I sort of have to blame Mike for not analyzing it in any meaningful way and just whining about every potential negative possible since day 1.

      • Ted Nelson

        Actually, sandwich picks are revenue. So that leaves literally only IFA $ being distributed as an informal draft. Unless you think teams want less revenue for a sandwich pick, because that’s a sound decision.

        People don’t seem to understand the new CBA. They just seem to hate it because they read it was bad.

  • Mr. Pink

    Sweet. I love that the Yanks are being aggressive on the Latin market. Even though these guys are unproven it comforts me to know that they’re probably going to sign the second best guy available.

  • Mark

    “Next year the spending pool will be based on the standings, so the more you win the less you get.”

    So BS. Every Collective Bargaining Agreement is always against the Yankees.

    IFA is where most of our top prospects come from. e.g. Jesus Montero, Cano etc. Our farm system is going to bare.

    The Yankees always overspend in the IFA because all the free agents and draft penalties and the luxury tax

    There baseball academies in there countries because the yankees spend money to start them.

    I wish these top prospects would show some loyalty and stay with the yankees. Probably yankees would repay them in the future in some ways.