The New York Yankees wasted no time in announcing their presence in the 2014-15 international market, signing as many as 21 players for somewhere near $12 million in bonuses on the opening day. While details are still trickling out, we do know a lot so far.
Rumors had been brewing about the Yankees' plan to blow past their allotted international spending cap as far back as February, when Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel broke the story. Different sources have reported different numbers of players signed and money spent, so let's break it down as clearly as possible.
International Signing Period
MLB international signing period primer
Here's an explanation of what the international signing period is and how MLB rules affect teams.
International Signing Period
Per multiple sources (Baseball America, Jesse Sanchez (MLB.com), Kiley McDaniel (Scout.com), the Yankees have signed
- Frederick Cuevas, OF, Dominican Republic
- Diego Castillo, SS, Venezuela
- WIlkerman Garcia, SS, Venezuela
- Nelson Gomez, 3B, Dominican Republic
- Miguel Flames, C, Venezuela
- Juan De Leon, OF, Dominican Republic
- Hyo-Joon Park, SS, South Korea
- Servando Hernandez, RHP, Venezuela
- Dermis Garcia, SS, Dominican Republic (widely speculated)
- Jonathan Amundaray, OF, Venezuela
- Antonio Arias, OF, Dominican Republic
It's worth noting that Dermis Garcia, ranked by some as the top talent on the international market, has been rumored to sign with New York for six months or so, and some are reporting they've agreed on a deal while others are waiting to confirm. This is something that's expected to get done shortly, but is not included in the 21-player/$12 million totals.
Per Kiley McDaniel, Scout.com
- Leobaldo Cabrera, OF, Venezuela
- Jason Lopez, C, Venezuela
- Lisando Blanco, OF, Dominican Republic
- Wander Hernandez, IF, Dominican Republic
- Raymundo Moreno, OF, Venezuela
- Adolfo Morillo, OF, Dominican Republic
- Pablo Olivares, OF, Venezuela
- Bismar Nunez, C, Dominican Republic
- Luis Pache, LHP, Dominican Republic
- Danienger Perez, SS, Venezuela
- Gilmael Troya, RHP, Venezuela
Players with rumored bonuses of $1M+
- Jonathan Amundaray ($1.5M)
- Antonio Arias ($800,000 - $1M)
- Nelson Gomez ($2.25M)
- Wilkerman Garcia ($1.35M)
- Dermis Garcia ($3M)
- Hyo-Jun Park ($1.1M)
- Juan De Leon ($2M)
- Miguel Flames ($1M)
Keep in mind that the final figures on these bonuses may be tweaked a bit. These are all rumored amounts and even when they're confirmed, they can change based on physicals, as well as in the course of standard negotiations. There are still others that the Yankees are rumored to be interested in, so it appears they're not done spending just yet.
Regarding their spending, the $12 million figure is what they've given out in bonuses today, but with the penalties ascribed for exceeding their spending pool of $2.1931 million, they will be paying an additional 100 percent on each dollar spent over that bonus. So their $12 million (not including Dermis Garcia's $3 million) investment turns into something around $22 million. Additionally, from this point forward, any reported bonus will actually cost the Yankees double, in total dollars spent. The team will also be limited to signings of $300,000 or less for the next two international signing periods.
In terms of how the Yankees did, talent wise, there is always going to be some disagreement when dealing with 16- to 17-year-old players. However, I reached out to Chris Crawford of ESPN Insider/Executive Editor of Draft To The Show to ask how the Yankees did with their haul and what he thought of the overall strategy.
I think it's fantastic. The punishment is less than a slap on a wrist. They took advantage of other teams fear and ran with it. Would I spend $30 million on guys that might not help this decade? Probably not, but there are worse ways to spend the money. They picked up five of the best eight talents in Dermis Garcia, Juan De Leon, Jonathan Amundaray, Nelson Gomez and Wilkerman Garcia. It's hard to look on that in a negative light.
While it's an expensive strategy in both dollars and future value, if the Yankees can pull four or five major leaguers out of this group, it'll be a coup in terms of overall value. If even one becomes a star, it's well worth it.