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Takeaways from international signing day

July 12, 2018

Close to 1,200 prospects signed during the previous international signing period, and if this year's start is any indication, clubs are once again focused on the international market and there could be even more deals than last period.More than 150 prospects have signed in the days since the signing period

Close to 1,200 prospects signed during the previous international signing period, and if this year's start is any indication, clubs are once again focused on the international market and there could be even more deals than last period.
More than 150 prospects have signed in the days since the signing period began Monday, and there are hundreds of prospects with agreements in the process of becoming official. The countries represented so far during the 2018-2019 period are Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela, with more expected to join the list.
:: 2018 International Signing Period ::
And while the international signing period always starts with a flurry of signings each July 2, the period continues through June 15 and clubs will continue to add talent throughout the year.
Here's what we've learned from the start of the 2018-2019 international signing period.
The Winners:
The Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mets, Tigers and Yankees were among the most aggressive teams on the market, with each coming to terms with at least two prospects on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 International Prospects list. The Dodgers can already claim No. 1 international prospect Diego Cartaya, a catcher from Venezuela, along with No. 30 right-handed pitcher Jerming Rosario among their international acquisitions this year, but the club is not done. The Dodgers acquired international pool money in a trade with the Reds and are looking to add more international prospects to their farm system.
Venezuela shines
More international prospects sign out of the Dominican Republic than any other country, but Venezuela's efforts should not be overlooked. Faced with the difficult circumstances that come with operating in a country during political and economic unrest, Venezuela continues to produce prospects. Last year, close to 400 prospects from Venezuela signed during the international signing period and almost 60 prospects have already signed during the current period. Venezuela is still known for producing infielders, but there has been an increase in top catchers from the country in the last two years. Cartaya (No.1), Antonio Gomez (No.11), Francisco Alvarez (No. 13) and Jose Rodriguez (No. 21) are all catchers from Venezuela. The late Daniel Flores, a top international prospect who signed with the Red Sox last summer, was also from Venezuela. Call it "The Salvador Perez Effect."
Cuban teens thriving
Players from Cuba are still highly coveted on the international market. There are three Cuban players (No. 9 Osiel Rodriguez, No. 14 Sandy Gaston, and No. 29 Denny Larrondo) on the Top 30 International Prospects list and other Cuban prospects like outfielder Victor Victor Mesa, an outfielder who has not been declared a free agent, and shortstop Alexander Vargas, who is eligible to sign, could sign during the current period.
So far, the Cuban prospects to sign with MLB teams include, third baseman Malcom Nunez (Cardinals), outfielder Jairo Pomarez (Giants) along with infielders Bryan Ramos and Harold Diaz, both with the White Sox. There are other agreements with Cuban prospects for less than $300,000 each. The days of signing Cuban prospects for bonuses in the high seven figures are over because of the bonus pool limits in place for each team, but the market for teenage talent from the island remains an important part of player acquisition.
Mario Perez and the Mexican market
Major League Baseball and Mexican League Baseball are working on a player transfer system, and until a practice is agreed upon, all players with an affiliation to Mexican League teams, including those eligible to sign during the international signing period, cannot sign a contract with a Major League team. So far this period, Mario Perez, a right-handed pitcher who trains with the Gonzalez Sports Academy and signed with the Brewers for $337,000, is the only notable signing from the country. The Gonzalez Sports Academy is run by the family of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and is not affiliated with any Mexican League team.
There were around 90 players from Mexico to sign during the entire 2017-2018 international signing period.
Bonus, baby
A large bonus awarded to an international prospect does not always equate with success on the field, but the multi-million deals signed by players like Gary Sanchez, Texas sluggers Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara, White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez and Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are already paying off. That said, the search for the next Ronald Acuna Jr., a prospect that signed for only $100,000, is also a big part of an international scouting director's job.
With that in mind, more than half of the international prospects signed since the period began received bonuses of $300,000 or less. The Padres and Nationals -- who like the A's, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Reds and White Sox, are in the maximum penalty, and cannot sign an individual player for more than $300,000 this period -- have signed 16 and six prospects for $300,000 each, respectively. The White Sox have also signed three international prospects for $300,000 each.
Below is a look at which players from MLB Pipeline's Top 30 International Prospects list have agreed to terms with clubs, and for how much. Unless otherwise noted, clubs have not confirmed the deals.
1. Diego Cartaya*, C, Venezuela -- Dodgers ($2,500,000) More »

  1. Marco Luciano*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Giants ($2,600,000) More »
  2. Misael Urbina*, OF, Venezuela -- Twins (2,750,000) More »
  3. Orelvis Martinez*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Blue Jays ($3,500,000) More »
  4. Richard Gallardo*, RHP, Venezuela -- Cubs ($1,000,000) More »
  5. Gabriel Rodriguez*, SS, Venezuela -- Indians ($2,100,000) More »
  6. Noelvi Marte*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Mariners ($1,550,000) More »
  7. Starlyn Castillo*, RHP, Dominican Republic -- Phillies ($1,600,000) More »
  8. Osiel Rodriguez, RHP, Cuba -- Yankees More »
  9. Kevin Alcantara, SS, Dominican Republic -- Yankees More »
  10. Antonio Gomez*, C, Venezuela -- Yankees ($600,000) More »
  11. Junior Sanquintin*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Indians ($1,250,000) More »
  12. Francisco Alvarez*, C, Venezuela -- Mets ($2,700,000) More »
  13. Sandy Gaston, RHP, Cuba
  14. Jose De La Cruz*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Tigers (1,800,000) More »
  15. Alvin Guzman*, OF, Dominican Republic -- D-backs (1,850,000) More »
  16. Jose Lopez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Cubs ($1,500,000) More »
  17. Eduarqui Fernandez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Brewers ($1,100,000) More »
  18. Adinso Reyes*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Tigers ($1,450,000) More »
  19. Eduardo Garcia, SS, Venezuela -- Brewers More »
  20. Jose Rodriguez*, C, Venezuela -- Rangers ($2,000,000) More »
  21. Alejandro Pie*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Rays ($1,400,000) More »
  22. Eduardo Lopez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Red Sox ($1,150,000) More »
  23. Alexander Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic -- Angels More »
  24. Freddy Valdez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Mets ($1,450,000) More »
  25. Branlyn Jaraba*, SS, Colombia -- Brewers ($1,100,000) More »
  26. Luis Matos*, OF, Venezuela -- Giants ($725,000) More »
  27. Joel Machado*, LHP, Venezuela -- Cubs ($850,000) More »
  28. Denny Larrondo*, RHP, Cuba -- Yankees ($550,000) More »
  29. Jerming Rosario, RHP, Dominican Republic -- Dodgers ($600,000) More »
    Complete list with scouting reports, grades, video and more »
    Indicates signing is official
    Here's a look at players outside the Top 30 who have agreed to deals for $300,000 or more:
    Darwin Moreno, OF, Venezuela -- $575,000
    Yohander Martinez, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Miguel Palma, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Cristian Gonzalez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Roberto Garza, RHP, Mexico -- $300,0000
    Erys Bautista, OF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
    Rafael Martinez, CF, Venezuela -- $435,000
    Carlos Roa, SS, Venezuela -- $385,000
    Jhonny Cabrera, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Malcom Nunez, 3B, Cuba -- $300,000
    Rafael Morel, SS, Dominican Republic -- $850,000
    Yohendrick Pinango, OF, Venezuela -- $400,000
    Abraham Calzadilla, RHP, Venezuela -- $500,000
    Diomedes Sierra, LHP, Dominican Republic -- $420,000
    Luis Rubio, SS, Venezuela -- $400,000
    Cristian Estrella, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Miguel Droz, SS, Venezuela -- $600,000
    Alex De Jesus, INF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
    Jairo Pomarez, OF, Cuba -- $975,0000
    Sterling Romero, OF, Dominican Republic -- $650,000
    Jesus Lara, SS, Venezuela -- $570,000
    Angel Martinez, SS, Dominican Republic -- 500,000
    Asdrubal Bueno, SS, Venezuela -- $325,000
    Yoelvis Sanchez, OF, Dominican Republic - $400,000
    Christhian, Rodriguez, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Yueri Amparo, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Isan Castillo, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Jeremy De La Rosa, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Daniel Marte, CF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Edwin Mercedes, C, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Erick Tejeda, INF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Euribel Angeles, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Neifi Antunez,SS, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Charlie Aquino, SS, Dominican Republic --$300,000
    Nerwilian Cedeno, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Josttin Diaz, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Reginald Dowston, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Albert Fabian, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Eduardo Hidalgo, OF, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Francisco Lucumi, RHP, Colombia -- $300,000
    Wilmert Paula, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Axcel Peralta, 1B, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Alex Ramirez, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Emanuel Rodriguez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Edwin Rojas, OF, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Wilfredo Tovar, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Jose Velez, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Alexeis Azuaje, INF, Venezuela -- $450,000
    Joalbert Angulo, LHP, Venezuela -- $425,000
    Andrick Nava, C, Venezuela -- $400,000
    Javier Vina, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Osvaldo Gavilan, OF, Dominican Republic -- $700,000
    Luis Tejada, INF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
    Sergio Campana, OF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
    Daniel Lopez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
    Juan Jerez, INF, Dominican Republic -- $380,000
    Adrian Mendez, LHP, Venezuela -- $355,000
    Orlando Chivilli, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
    Luisangel Acuna, INF, Venezuela -- $425,000
    Junior Paniagua, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    Jhan Zambrano, RHP, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Daury del Rosario, SS, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
    Daniel Gonzalez, LHP, Venezuela -- $400,000
    Bryan Dum, LHP, Venezuela -- $385,000
    Estanli Castillo, OF, Dominican Republic -- $325,000
    Justino Dominguez, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $325,000
    Red Sox
    Eduardo Vaughn, CF, Panama -- $550,000
    Bryan Gonzalez, OF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
    Giancarlos Santana, CF, Dominican Republic -- $460,000
    Albert Feliz, 3B, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
    Gabriel Jackson, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
    Naysbel, Marcano, C, Venezuela -- $350,000
    Ronald Pereira, RHP, Venezuela -- $1,000,000
    Warming Bernabel, SS, Dominican Republic -- $900,000
    Pedro Mota, SS, Dominican Republic -- $900,000
    Juan Guerrero, SS, Dominican Republic --$650,000
    Michael James, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
    Mishael Deson, OF, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
    Aiverson Rodriguez, SS, Venezuela -- $305,000
    Wilmin Candelario, SS, Dominican Republic - $847,500
    Omar Florentino, SS, Dominican Republic -- $722,500
    Jaswel De Los Santos, OF, Dominican Republic --$347,500
    Christian Paulino, LHP, Dominican Republic -- $347,500
    Kaito Yuki, RHP, Japan -- $322,500
    Angel Cruz, OF, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
    Geury Estevez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    White Sox
    Bryan Ramos, 3B, Cuba -- $300,000
    Harold Diaz, SS, Cuba -- $300,000
    Luis Pineda, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
    Agustin Ramirez, C, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
    Maikol Escotto, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
    Dayro Perez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
    Juan Carela, LHP, Dominican Republic -- $335,500
    Mauro Bonifacio, RF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
    D'Vaughn Knowles, OF, Bahamas -- $300,000

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.