The bonus pools for the 2015-16 international signing period have been determined, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports, providing the full list of dollar figures. While the Diamondbacks have the largest bonus pool (just under $5.394MM) of any team due to their league-worst record in 2014, Arizona is unable to sign any pool-eligible player in both the coming signing period and the 2016-17 period for more than $300K. The D’Backs, Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Angels all face this penalty since they exceeded their 2013-14 spending limits, though as Badler notes, the five teams can trade the individual slot values that make up their new pools.
Here’s more about some of the game’s top international prospects…
- Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez held a showcase for scouts today, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports (Twitter link). While past reports suggested Alvarez’s camp hoped to have the 18-year-old under contract to a team before the current int’l signing period ends, Sanchez reports that Alvarez isn’t eligible to sign until the 2015-16 international signing window opens on July 2.
- Sanchez adds (via another tweet) the Rangers to the long list of teams who have already been rumored to be interested in Alvarez, and he notes that more clubs are sure to join the list. The Rangers (and Cubs) were restricted from spending more than $250K on international prospects in 2014-15 due to overspending in the 2013-14 period, but they’ll again be able to spend more freely on July 2.
- The Angels are also interested in Alvarez, Ross Newhan of the NewhanOnBaseball blog tweets. If Alvarez isn’t able to sign until July 2, however, this will surely eliminate the Angels from contention since the righty will command a far higher bonus than $300K.
- The Twins had scouts present at today’s Alvarez showcase, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com
- Hector Olivera discusses his health history, his decision to leave Cuba, his transition to American baseball and more as part of a wide-ranging interview with Ben Badler of Baseball America (subscription required).
- Olivera missed over a full season of Cuban baseball while recovering from a blood clot in his left biceps, and when he returned, he spent most of his time at DH rather than second base. This has raised some concern with MLB scouts who wonder if Olivera is able to regularly play in the field, but as Olivera explained to Badler, his extended DH time wasn’t related to his blood issues. “The reason was we got disqualified early (from playoff contention). The manager and I talked about giving the younger kids a chance to play. So I asked him to just DH me and play the younger guys,” Olivera said.
- New Red Sox signee Yoan Moncada speaks to Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel (audio link), noting that his preference would be to play second base in the majors. “[My] baby is second base,” Moncada said via a translator, though he’ll play any position the Sox ask him to play. Of course, second base doesn’t seem like a likely option for Moncada in Boston given the presence of Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts blocking him at the position.