International Free Agents Newsbeat
Thursday, May 05, 2016
Kevin Maitan did not just suddenly appear on the radar for international scouts. He’s been on it for three years—and he only turned 16 in February.
So it’s really no surprise that the superlatives fly in when Maitan’s name is mentioned in international scouting circles. Scouts and front-office executives describe him as athletic, big, strong and talented. They compare him to a young Miguel Cabrera and Chipper Jones, and other established Major League stars.
The switch-hitting teenage shortstop from Venezuela has long been considered the top prospect for the international class of 2016, but now it’s official. Maitan is ranked No. 1 on MLB.com’s list of Top 30 International Prospects for 2016.
This year’s Top 30 International Prospects list includes 14 players from the Dominican Republic, 10 from Venezuela, five from Cuba and one from Mexico. The positions break down like this: eight outfielders, 17 infielders, three pitchers and two catchers.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The most obvious route, especially in the first year of the international bonus pools, was a package deal. Take a player for July 2 you want to sign for $2 million, but give $1.5 million to him on July 2 and give $500,000 to another player from the same trainer before July 2. Prior to July 2, 2012, there were no bonus pools, so you save half a million dollars from your 2012-13 bonus pool.
While the decision should ultimately be up to the player and his family, the reality is that the trainers often hold the ultimate decision-making power in these deals. Maximizing the money that goes to the chief decision-maker is what gets a deal done.
Before July 2 that year, we asked Major League Baseball what the league would do if a team tried that type of package deal. The response was that the commissioner’s office would view it as a circumvention of the bonus pools and would respond with strict penalties.
Except, they didn’t. Teams did exactly what we wrote that they would do, and MLB did nothing. I’m not saying MLB necessarily should have done anything either, but it at least set a precedent that the commissioner’s office was fine with teams signing players that way.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Among other things, what happens to team spending on academies when an international draft is implemented?
“My own view—and it’s been this view for a long time—is that sooner or later, it would be better if players, no matter from where they hail, enter the game through the same type of system, and that is a draft system,” Manfred said. “It will be a topic we will spend some time on with the MLBPA over the course of the next year.”
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Another great article by Jesse Sanchez. Nobody touches him on the international free agent market.
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
It amazing how much better some teams are in the international market.
The Rangers consistently grade out near the top of this list, with their international program continually churning out talent first under the direction of A.J. Preller, then Mike Daly (now their farm director) and most recently Gil Kim, who just left the organization to become Toronto’s farm director. Preller has moved on to become the Padres general manager, with Daly and Kim both candidates to follow in his footsteps into a GM role down the road. The combination of impact talent and depth is impressive, with Rougned Odor already in the big leagues along with Luis Sardinas and Jurickson Profar, the former No. 1 overall prospect whose injuries have made him a wild card. Trading away four of their international signings who appear in the Prospect Handbook (including Brewers righthander Marcos Diplan, the No. 4 prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League) helps boost their total somewhat, but the Rangers have found quality prospects through all range of investments.
Posted: February 02, 2016 at 09:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
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