2:23pm: Tampa has also reached agreement with outfielder Jesus Sanchez on a $400K bonus, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. Sanchez was rated the 27th-best prospect by Baseball America entering the signing period.
11:48am: The Rays have agreed to sign international shortstop prospect Adrian Rondon, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (via Twitter). He will earn a $3.3MM bonus, per Deportes’ Dionisio Soldevila (via Twitter), though he cannot technicaly sign until July 7 because he has yet to turn 16.
Rondon occupies the top slot in Baseball America‘s ranking of available prospects and comes in at third in the view of MLB.com. BA cites his outstanding feel for the game and athletic presence in the middle of the diamond, where he could stick. He is also one of, if not the most advanced hitters available. He makes good, hard contact and has some power projection in his swing and body.
The Rays entered the signing period with only $1,998,100 in pool money at the club’s disposal, well shy of the reported bonus for Rondon. The difference of over $1.3MM would handily exceed the 15% bar, above which the club must both pay a 100% overage tax and give up the ability to sign international prospects for bonuses of over $300K for the next two signing periods.