July 2nd is known as “international signing day” around major league baseball. It is the first day that international players can- and will sign contracts with major league baseball clubs. The signing period continues until June 15 of the following year.
Who is eligible?
A player is eligible if he resides outside of the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico, and is at least 17 years of age or will turn 17 by the end of the first season of his contract. Players who are at least 25 years of age and have played professional ball in a foreign league for at least six seasons (such as the Cuban league) are exempt from the international bonus pool.
Are the Tigers going to get anyone?
The Tigers have already agreed to contracts with two of MLB Pipeline’s top 30 international prospects this year. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez — the Adrian Wojnarowski of MLB International Signing Day — reported that the Tigers will sign shortstop Adinso Reyes for $1.45 million, and outfielder Jose de la Cruz for $1.8 million.
Per @JesseSanchezMLB, the #Tigers have agreed to deals with two Top 30 international prospects:— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 2, 2018
No. 15 Jose De La Cruz ($1.8M)
No. 19 Adiso Reyes ($1.45M)
More details: https://t.co/caSwU4pncH pic.twitter.com/XeilMlgF4s
What are the bonus pool limits?
Each team has a signing bonus pool that they can spend on signing bonuses for international players. This is separate from the bonus pool that teams have to sign players who were drafted in the regular amateur player draft, which was held on June 5.
Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft receive a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft receive $5,504,500. All other clubs, including the Tigers, can spend $4,983,500. The Phillies lost $1 million from their bonus pool for signing Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana as qualifying offered free agents.
Any bonus of $ 10,000 or less does not count against the limit. Teams can also trade their pool money and teams can add up to 75 percent of their original pool money via trades.
Who is in the penalty box?
The Oakland A’s, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, St Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Chicago White Sox are in the maximum penalty, and cannot sign an individual player for more than $300,000 this period.
The Tigers are one of the few teams that has never gone past their bonus pool limit and never incurred a penalty for doing so. Instead, they have always spent right up to the limit and spread their bonus dollars around in smaller amounts for multiple players. Detroit is expected to be one of the more aggressive teams this signing period.