Representatives for Cuban pitcher Yadier Alvarez are seeking a waiver that would allow him to sign before July 2, Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs reports. A previous report had indicated Alvarez and fellow Cuban hurler Vladimir Gutierrez would not be able to sign before July because international prospects born after September 1, 1995 must register with MLB before they could sign, and Alvarez and Gutierrez were not registered.
MLB can waive that requirement, though, for a player who has “a compelling justification for his failure to register.” Such a waiver has never been given to a Cuban player, McDaniel notes, but the league has granted waivers for players from the Dominican. One might think the fact that Cuban players are unable to register while living in Cuba could potentially provide a compelling justification.
A waiver would allow Alvarez to sign either in the current signing period or the one that begins next July. That could widen his field of suitors, because Alvarez will be subject to rules regarding international bonus pools. The Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Diamondbacks and Rays have all exceeded their 2014-15 bonus pools, so for the signing period beginning in July, they won’t be able to sign any player subject to the pool system for more than $300K. If Alvarez were allowed to sign before that, any of those teams could theoretically try to sign him. McDaniel writes, though, that the Dodgers appear to be most interested in Alvarez right now.