Thursday marked the start of the 2015-16 international signing period, a day when some of the best teenage prospects in the world signed with teams and took huge steps toward fulfilling their Major League dreams.
The Dodgers, as expected, made the biggest splash when the market officially opened, agreeing to terms with two of the top five prospects on MLBPipeline.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, including a $16 million deal with 19-year-old Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez. They also landed the No. 5 prospect on the list, Starling Heredia, and are thought to be in contention for top-ranked 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez, who isn't expected to sign until later in the month.
Video: Top International Prospects: Yadier Alvarez, P
Another one of the biggest -- and certainly most familiar -- names was that of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., son of the nine-time All-Star and 2004 American League Most Valuable Player of the same name. Vlad Jr. agreed to a $3.9 million deal with the Blue Jays.
Video: Outfielder from Dominican Republic signs with Toronto
Below is a look at which top international prospects have agreed to terms with clubs, and for how much. Unless otherwise noted, clubs have not confirmed the deals.
1. Eddy Julio Martinez, OF, Cuba - TBA
2. Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Cuba - Dodgers* ($16,000,000) More »
3. Lucius Fox, SS, Bahamas - Giants ($6,000,000) More »
4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., OF, Dominican Republic - Blue Jays* ($3,900,000) More »
5. Starling Heredia, OF, Dominican Republic - Dodgers* ($2,600,000) More »
6. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Dominican Republic - Phillies ($4,000,000) More »
7. Gilberto Celestino, OF, Dominican Republic - Astros ($2,500,000) More »
8. Wander Javier, SS, Dominican Republic - Twins ($4,000,000) More »
9. Seuly Matias, OF, Dominican Republic - Royals ($2,250,000) More »
10. Cristian Pache, OF, Dominican Republic - Braves* ($1,400,000) More »
11. Alvaro Seijas, RHP, Venezuela - Cardinals ($762,500) More »
12. Daniel Montano, OF, Venezuela - Rockies ($2,000,000) More »
13. Yonathan Perlaza, SS, Venezuela - Cubs ($1,300,000) More »
14. Albert Guaimaro, OF, Venezuela - Red Sox ($300,000) More »
15. Andres Gimenez, INF, Venezuela - Mets ($1,200,000) More »
16. Yonathan Sierra Estiwal, OF, Dominican - Cubs ($2,500,000) More »
17. Gregory Guerrero, SS, Dominican Republic - Mets ($1,500,000) More »
18. Leodys Taveras, OF, Dominican Republic - Rangers* ($2,100,000) More »
19. Aramis Ademan, SS, Dominican Republic - Cubs ($2,000,000) More »
20. Anderson Amarista, RHP, Venezuela - Rockies ($600,000)
21. Ronny Brito, SS, Dominican Republic - Dodgers* ($2,000,000) More »
22. Juan Soto, OF, Dominican Republic - Nationals* ($1,500,000) More »
23. Cristian Olivo, OF, Dominican Republic - Reds ($1,000,000) More »
24. Derian Cruz, SS, Dominican Republic - Braves* ($2,000,000) More »
25. Miguel Amaya, C, Panama - Cubs ($1,250,000) More »
26. Carlos Vargas, SS, Dominican Republic - Mariners ($1,700,000) More »
27. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Dominican Republic - White Sox* ($700,000) More »
28. Christopher Martinez, 3B, Dominican Republic - Cubs ($1,000,000) More »
29. Jeison Guzman, SS, Dominican Republic - Royals ($1,500,000) More »
30. Franklin Reyes, OF, Dominican Republic - White Sox* ($1,500,000) More »
*Club has confirmed signing but not the terms of the deal.
This is how it works
An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of next year if the prospect turns 17 before Sept. 1 of this year or by the completion of his first Minor League season. Additionally, any prospect who is already 17 or older and has not previously signed a Major or Minor League contract, resides outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico within the previous year is eligible to sign during the period.
There are specific signing guidelines each team must follow.
In 2012, in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, spending limits were introduced and each club was allotted $2.9 million to spend on the international market during the signing period that began that July 2.
Team international signing bonus pools
Each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2014, a figure ranging from $5,393,900 for the D-backs, who had the Majors' lowest winning percentage last year, to $1,968,600 for the Angels, who had the highest winning percentage.
The signing bonus pools are made up of four slot values.
Additionally, clubs are allowed to trade pool money. The exemption that allowed clubs to sign up to six players for bonuses up to $50,000 without counting against the allotment has been eliminated, but all bonuses of $10,000 or less are exempt.
There are penalties in place for teams exceeding their spending limits.
Teams that exceed the pools by 0 to 5 percent have to pay 100 percent tax, and teams that exceed the pools by 5 to 10 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period and also have to pay a 100-percent tax on the pool overage. Teams that exceed the pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.
In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed the pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, in addition to paying a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.
The Angels, D-backs, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees exceeded the 2014-15 pool by at least 15 percent and cannot sign any pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.
The international signing guidelines do not apply to players who previously signed a contract with a Major or Minor League club, nor do they apply to players who are least 23 years old and have played as a professional in a league recognized by the Commissioner's Office for a minimum of five seasons. Cuban players who are at least 23 and have played in a Cuban professional league for five or more seasons are also exempt.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.