Lots of interesting details in this write up by Peter Gammons on International free agents. Among the topics covered…
- An investigation by MLB security into identification fraud could lead to the deportation of as many as 100 minor leaguers.
- Money given to international free agents has more than tripled in past five years.
- Gammons says the slotting system in the amateur draft doesn't work because the richer teams ignore the recommendations. However, because of revenue sharing, the small-market teams now have more money to give to international free agents.
- The commissioner's office refuses to sign off on the signing of an unnamed fourth round pick (of a "small-market Central Division team") because the player and the team agreed to a contract above the commissioner's recommendation.
- Gammons feels that the NCAA's new restrictions on scholarships, along with the lower signing bonuses, will drive more kids to football and basketball.
- The highest bonus ever given to an international free agent was the $7MM given to Rolando Arrojo by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Gammons adds that Cuban baseball cards he received in 1994 showed several players, including Arrojo, to have ages much different than those listed with MLB.