Yankees Plan To Incur 2014-15 Int’l Spending Penalties

The Yankees plan to spend $12MM-$15MM on the 2014-15 international amateur free agent market, incurring $10MM-$12MM in penalties, Kiley McDaniel of Scout.com reports. That $12MM-$15MM figure would not include potential spending for Masahiro Tanaka, who is not subject to international bonus pools that govern spending for most Latin American amateurs.

2014-2015 international bonus pools have not yet been set, but the Yankees' figures to be about $2MM to $2.5MM, according to McDaniel. The Yankees would have to pay a 100 percent tax on any spending past 10 percent higher than their bonus pool. If they go more than 15 percent above their bonus pool, they would also lose their ability to sign any international amateur for more than $300K in the 2015-16 or 2016-17 signing seasons. Greatly exceeding their bonus pool could also cause the Yankees to lose top picks in an international draft, if MLB decides to institute one. Obviously, by spending $12MM-$15MM, the Yankees would blow way past those penalties, incurring around $10MM in taxes and spending a total somewhere near $25MM.

In 2013, the Cubs spent heavily on international prospects Eloy Jimenez, Gleyber Torres, Erling Moreno, Jen-Ho Tseng, Jefferson Mejia, and Johan Matos. That gave the Cubs the two top international prospects on the market (Jimenez and Torres), plus two more in the top 30 (Moreno and Tseng). That spending cost the Cubs $7.895MM. It appears the Yankees plan to spend far more, which would potentially allow them to dominate the international market, unless other teams ignore their bonus pools as well.

For the Yankees, one positive in making their plan public, as McDaniel points out, is that agents will not assume the Yankees are making offers in bad faith. McDaniel reports that an executive from a team that has exceeded its bonus pool in the past said the team had trouble getting agents to believe its offers were sincere. The Yankees should not have that problem if agents believe the Yanks are willing to exceed their bonus pool.

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