Badler says Dominguez will receive a signing bonus in the $5M range, which is absolutely massive. The largest signing bonus the Yankees have ever given an international amateur is the $3.2M bonus they gave Dermis Garcia in July 2014. To the best of my knowledge the Yankees have only ever given four amateur players a signing bonus worth $3M or more:
- Andrew Brackman: $3.35M (2007 first round pick)
- Blake Rutherford: $3.282M (2016 first round pick)
- Dermis Garcia: $3.2M (international free agent in July 2014)
- Gary Sanchez: $3M (international free agent in July 2009)
Brackman’s bonus was part of a four-year Major League contract worth $4.55M. The largest bonus given to an international amateur during the hard cap era (2017-present) is the $3.825M bonus the Rays gave shortstop Wander Franco in July 2017, so yeah, Dominguez’s upcoming bonus is enormous. Here’s a snippet of Badler’s scouting report, which explains why the bonus will be so big:
Dominguez has an exciting level of explosiveness, athleticism and loud tools, with 60s and 70s (on the 20-80 scouting scale) scattered across his tool set. He’s a bursty athlete with well above-average speed and arm strength, excellent bat speed and big power from both sides of the plate coming from his muscular, 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame. Scouts highest on Dominguez raved not only about his tools, both about his ability to both hit and hit for power in games.
The international bonus cap is tied to market size, which means the Yankees have the smallest available pool. Last year they had a $4.9835M international bonus pool, up 5% from $4.75M the year before. Another 5% increase puts them at $5.23M for the 2019-20 signing period. MLB will officially announce the bonus pool sizes sometime in April.
Teams can trade for an additional 75% of their bonus pool — that means the Yankees will be able to add an additional $3.9M or so — and the Yankees maxed out their pool each of the last two years. They traded for the max allowed and spent it all. I have no reason to believe they won’t do that again this summer. That means they’ll be able to give Dominguez his massive bonus and sign other players as well, possibly to seven-figure bonuses.
Update: Turns out teams can only trade for an additional 60% of their bonus pool starting with the 2019-20 signing period. Assuming another 5% increase to a $5.23M pool, the Yankees will be able to trade for an additional $3.2M this year rather than $3.9M. Not a huge difference, but a difference.