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Article: Twins International Signing Period Preview

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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 09:30 PM

Baseball's July 2 international signing date is quickly approaching and this signing period can be one of the most valuable ways for organizations to add talent. These players can sign for big bonuses but they are signed at age 16 compared to older ages for MLB's domestic draft.

Fans need to look no further than the current Twins roster to see valuable international pieces. Miguel Sano and Max Kepler were both signed in 2009 as part of the international signing period. Jorge Polanco is another starter who signed from the international market. Other top prospects like Fernando Romero, Felix Jorge and Engelb Vielma were international signees and they each are already on the 40-man roster.Overview of the Class
Many national entities feel like the 2017 international signing class is very strong with two strong players at the top, Wander Franco and Daniel Flores. Baseball America said this about the class,"While there are 5-10 players who emerge among the elite prospects in a signing class, the 2017 group has strong depth of top-end talent. Any of the players in the top 15 could fit into a top five in many years.

Hard Cap Era
Baseball has been tightening its rules when it comes to signing players. This year will mark the beginning of the hard cap era for international signings. The majority of teams have a bonus pool of $4.75 million while smaller market clubs, like the Twins, get either $5.25 million or $5.75 million. Even with this hard cap, clubs are able to trade for up to 75 percent of their original pool allotment and they can trade away all of their pool.

Minnesota has $5.25 million allotted for players in their bonus pool which means only eight clubs can currently spend more than the Twins. Eleven teams are currently under penalty for exceeding their bonus pools in previous signing periods. This means they are prohibited from signing any player for more than $300,000 during this season's international signing period.

Twins Focus
Switch-hitting shortstop Jelfrey Marte is expected to get a majority of the Twins' allotment pool. He has been linked to the Twins since this winter and he is expected to get a signing bonus around $3 million. Other sources told the Pioneer Press that a deal was "not done yet" but he should get over $2 million as a bonus.

Marte is one of the top ranking Dominican shortstops in the class. Baseball America has him as the 13th overall international prospect in this signing class and the fifth best Dominican shortstop. MLB.com has a much higher view of Marte as he ranks third in their overall rankings. The only shortstop to rank higher than Marte on this list is Wander Franco who is considered the best player in the class.

MLB.com offers some strong support for Marte. "He's a good runner with quick hands, a strong arm and the defensive tools that could make him an everyday shortstop one day. Scouts also like Marte's footwork, his polished actions and his range to both sides. On the offensive side, "Marte makes consistent hard contact from both sides of the plate. He has shown good bat speed and a solid approach. What's more, Marte is a line-drive hitter now but he could develop some pop as he grows and his body matures."

According to Darren Wolfson, another name to watch is Venezuelan outfielder Carlos Aguiar. Baseball America has him as the 30th best prospect in the class while MLB.com didn't have him in their top-30. There will be other names as well but the Twins will likely use most of their bonus pool on Marte and Aguiar.

Will the Twins trade for some more bonus pool space? What are your thoughts on Marte and Aguiar? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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#2 FunnyPenguin

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:14 AM

Can we PLEASE just try spending it on some pitching, we have Javier, Lewis, and Gordon already but we are really lacking top end pitching talent.


#3 nytwinsfan

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:52 AM

 

Can we PLEASE just try spending it on some pitching, we have Javier, Lewis, and Gordon already but we are really lacking top end pitching talent.

Problem is that choosing a barely 16-yo as a pitcher is an incredible crap-shoot. It is already incredibly risky picking 18-yo pitchers, let alone barely 16-yo. Better to spend a couple hundred thousand on a number of 16-yo pitchers than to spend the big bucks on them at that age. The Twins did take Ynoa for a large signing bonus, and that has worked out well so far, but that was an exception, and most of the big international signers are position players for this reason.

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#4 clutterheart

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:53 AM

I have no idea how a team like the Red Sox with 4.3 Million pool could be linked to two top 10 guys (Flores and Diaz) while the Twins are linked to a top 30 guy.  

 

I am no scout but everything I have read about Daniel Flores makes me want the Twins to get him.  16 year catching prospect who can hit and play D.  I wish they would use their money to get a guy like Diaz.  He would probably become a top 10 prospect right away.  

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#5 Tommygun921

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:58 AM

By trade for more bonus pool. Does that mean trading a player to another Org for a portion of their pool?

#6 Willihammer

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:59 AM

What's the price tag on Marte expected to be?

Well, there's that.

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#7 Cody Christie

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:02 AM

 

What's the price tag on Marte expected to be?

 

Between $2-3 million

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#8 Cody Christie

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:05 AM

 

By trade for more bonus pool. Does that mean trading a player to another Org for a portion of their pool?

Yes, that would be the likely scenario.

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#9 Cody Christie

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:07 AM

 

I have no idea how a team like the Red Sox with 4.3 Million pool could be linked to two top 10 guys (Flores and Diaz) while the Twins are linked to a top 30 guy.  

 

I am no scout but everything I have read about Daniel Flores makes me want the Twins to get him.  16 year catching prospect who can hit and play D.  I wish they would use their money to get a guy like Diaz.  He would probably become a top 10 prospect right away.  

The Red Sox likely have a deal in the works to trade for another team's bonus money. Otherwise, they can overspend and be put on penalty, which limits them in future years.

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#10 nytwinsfan

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:10 AM

 

I have no idea how a team like the Red Sox with 4.3 Million pool could be linked to two top 10 guys (Flores and Diaz) while the Twins are linked to a top 30 guy.  

 

I am no scout but everything I have read about Daniel Flores makes me want the Twins to get him.  16 year catching prospect who can hit and play D.  I wish they would use their money to get a guy like Diaz.  He would probably become a top 10 prospect right away.  

You are making a lot of assumptions, including assuming away the fact that MLB.com ranked Marte the # 3 prospect and BA the #13.

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#11 Cody Christie

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:58 AM

 

You are making a lot of assumptions, including assuming away the fact that MLB.com ranked Marte the # 3 prospect and BA the #13.

It also sounds like this is a very deep class. As I wrote in the article, the top-15 players would all likely fall in the top-5 during a normal year. 

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#12 Mike Sixel

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:06 AM

International signings pepper the top prospects lists for every team, and across MLB. Getting this part right is more important than some seem to believe (right, or lucky, if you assume you can't scout a 16 yo, which I disagree with).

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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#13 pbrezeasap

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:16 AM

 

The Red Sox likely have a deal in the works to trade for another team's bonus money. Otherwise, they can overspend and be put on penalty, which limits them in future years.

 

I would assume it would be with a team under penalty, it seems that those teams would be hard pressed to spend all of their pools at 300k or less each and would probably get better prospects in return by trading some of the pool away. Sounds like a good strategy by the Red Sox. How much of a signing bonus would guys ranked in the 40-50 range be expected to get?

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#14 FunnyPenguin

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:19 AM

 

Problem is that choosing a barely 16-yo as a pitcher is an incredible crap-shoot. It is already incredibly risky picking 18-yo pitchers, let alone barely 16-yo. Better to spend a couple hundred thousand on a number of 16-yo pitchers than to spend the big bucks on them at that age. The Twins did take Ynoa for a large signing bonus, and that has worked out well so far, but that was an exception, and most of the big international signers are position players for this reason.

 

Yes I do agree with you.  Just love to get some high upside, young pitchers into our system.

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#15 DJL44

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:26 AM

Fernando Romero was not a terribly expensive signing. The Twins will find some pitchers.

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#16 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:28 AM

The Red Sox also got caught cheating the system last year by giving bonus to lesser players and those players sharing it with guys they wanted to sign.

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#17 gunnarthor

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:29 AM

As for pitchers, Romero, Thorpe, Wells and Jorge were also low money signings the last few years. Ynoa was big money, I believe.

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#18 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:07 AM

I'd prefer the quality over quantity method this year. Marte sounds solid. Hope they can sign him to a deal. 


#19 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:08 AM

 

Can we PLEASE just try spending it on some pitching, we have Javier, Lewis, and Gordon already but we are really lacking top end pitching talent.

 

I get the frustration. But, there's nothing that's stopping this team from trading some of these players for top end pitching talent. 

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#20 Mike Sixel

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 10:29 AM

 

I get the frustration. But, there's nothing that's stopping this team from trading some of these players for top end pitching talent. 

 

People keep typing that:

 

a: who is trading away top end pitching under control for more than half a year

b: they couldn't manage to make one trade this off season despite having the worst SP in baseball and plenty of MIF depth.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.