The Dodgers signed a number of top international prospects during the 2018-2019 international signing period, including top catching prospect Diego Cartaya (LAD No. 9) out of Venezuela.
Once again, they are off to a good start for this summer's group.
According to industry sources, the Dodgers have agreed to a deal with outfielder Luis Rodriguez, No. 4 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects list, and right-handed pitcher Kristian Cardozo (No. 21).
The club has not confirmed the agreements.
Rodriguez, whose deal is for $2,667,500, is a pure hitter and a natural athlete. He has a sound approach in the batter’s box and has shown the ability to use all fields with consistent and hard contact. There’s a nice rhythm and balance to his swing, and although he’s primarily a line-drive hitter now, there have been flashes of power, which could increase as he develops. Rodriguez is a quality defender in center field now and makes all of the plays, but it’s uncertain if that’s where he will stay.
As for Cardozo, he has an easy, repeatable delivery paired with a loose and under control arm action. He has shown the ability to throw strikes and his three quality pitch mix stands out for a player his age. Cardozo’s fastball usually sits in the 90-mph range for multiple innings, and he has been up to 92 mph with good command.
The Dodgers also signed Venezuelan catcher Yeiner Fernandez for $717,500, according to sources.
According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Rule 4 Draft receive a pool of $6,481,200 for spending on international prospects, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive $5,939,800.
The Dodgers, who lost $500,000 for signing free agent A.J. Pollock, have bonus pools of $4,821,400.
Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 60 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.
Under the previous system, teams were penalized for exceeding their bonus pools with consequences that ranged from taxes on their spending to the maximum penalty, which was being prohibited from signing any prospect for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods. That’s no longer the case and there are no longer penalties. Teams can only spend their allotted bonus pools and the monies acquired via trade.