Yesterday was Canada Day. Friday is Independence Day in the United States. For baseball fans, though, today can be known as International Signing Day. July 2nd marks the official start to the international signing period for this season, and the Indians will look to find the next Victor Martinez, Danny Salazar, or Jesus Aguilar. Like with the first year player draft, the new CBA created some new rules for international free signings. Here are some of the key points to the new signing rules and what you need to know:
- Amateur player 16 years or older that are not in the US, Canada, or Puerto Rico are eligible, with a few exceptions. Professional League players in other countries (like Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka) and certain Cuban players (like Jose Abreu from this past winter) do not fall under today’s signing restrictions.
- There is a signing pool amount for each team, just like in the draft. The pool amount varies by team with the worst teams getting the most and best teams getting the least.
- A team’s total pool amount is determined by “slot values” similar to the first year player draft. There are 120 slots, ranging in value from $3,300,900 down to $137,600.
- All 30 teams start with four slots that go in order of how they finished the previous regular season (same as the draft).
- You may go over this amount but there are various penalties depending on the amount a team goes over, similar to the ones imposed in the draft. The Cubs and Rangers went over by more than 15% last year, and it is believed they will have only around $250K to spend on international signings.
- One interesting twist is teams are able to acquire extra pool money by trading “slot values”. Think of those slot values as draft picks that can be dealt.
- While teams may acquire more slots, they may only acquire up to 50% of their original signing pool money.
How does this all apply to the Cleveland Indians? This year they have slots #23, #53, #83 and #113. Their total signing pool amount is $1,980,700. They may trade for up to $990,350 in additional slot money, or deal away slots if they so choose. You can track all the signings here, but be sure to follow both Wahoo’s on First and myself on twitter (@MattB_WOF) as I will be posting any Tribe news and signings I hear throughout the day and over the rest of the summer.
Here are the first six names the Indians inked on International Signing Day, 2014 (all scouting reports/profiles courtesy of Baseball America):
The Indians have signed 16-year-old Dominican right-hander Leonardo Rodriguez for $300,000. At 6-foot-7, 200 pounds, Rodriguez has plenty of projection to add to his a fastball that touches the low-90s. With his arm speed and size, he projects to be a power pitcher with the potential to reach the mid-90s or better, with his breaking ball and changeup still in their early stages. Rodriguez pitched in the Dominican Prospect League.
Dominican outfielder Christopher Cespedes has signed with the Indians for $200,000. Cespedes is a 16-year-old right-handed hitter whose main tool is his power potential. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, he fits best as a corner outfielder. He trained with Jhon Carmona.
The Indians have signed left-handed Dominican outfielder Julio Cabrera for $200,000. He’s a 16-year-old who has impressed some scouts with his ability to hit in games with a line-drive stroke. He has a strong, compact frame at 6 feet, 185 pounds with around average speed and a strong arm, with a chance to stay in center field. He trained with Hector Acosta.
The Indians have signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Henderson D’Oleo for $165,000. He’s a 6-foot-4, 190-pound third baseman who’s best tools are his right-handed power and arm strength. He trained with Hector Acosta…
The Indians signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Oscar Gonzalez for $300,000. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Gonzalez stands out for his arm strength and right-handed power potential and will be a right fielder. He trained with Wason Brazoban…
The Indians have signed Dominican righthander Orlando Cedeno. He’s a 16-year-old who’s 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with a fastball that has touched the low-90s. He trained with Kike Cruz, who is Pedro Martinez’s father-in-law, so Cedeno was able to spend some time working with Martinez.