Back in the fall, we first heard the Yankees are planning to blow past their international spending pool when this summer’s signing period opens on July 2nd. They’re said to be ready to spend upwards of $15M on bonuses despite being slotted for only $2.2M. They would pay another $15M or so in taxes and lose the right to sign a player for more than $300k in the next two signings periods.
Now, thanks to Ben Badler, we finally have some details on the specific players the Yankees are targeting. It’s a subscriber-only article, so I can’t give away too much, but here are the important details:
- OF Juan De Leon: “premium bat speed from the right side of the plate … potential for plus power in the future” (video above)
- SS Dermis Garcia: “some of the best raw power in the 2014 class” (video)
- 3B Nelson Gomez: “has shown plus raw power … has an above-average arm and good hands” (video)
- SS Christopher Torres: “switch-hitter who projects to stick at short” (no video)
All four players are 16 years old and from the Dominican Republic. Badler says they are all expected to command $2M or so bonuses, though Garcia could wind up with $3M. There are also some scouts who question whether Torres is really worth that much money. De Leon is said to be the team’s “top priority.”
Assuming the Yankees do sign those four players to roughly $9M in bonuses, they’d still have another $6M to spend before hitting that rumored $15M number. I would expect a chunk of that to go towards pitching. The Rays, Red Sox, and Brewers are planning similar spending sprees according to Badler, though not to the same extent as New York.
The Yankees have been very good at finding cheaper international prospects like RHP Luis Severino ($225k), SS Abi Avelino ($300k), and SS Thairo Estrada ($49k), so the $300k limit over the next two years won’t completely derail their international operation. Besides, there’s a decent chance MLB will implement an international draft soon. This might be the team’s last chance to spend like crazy.