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Takeaways from international signing day

MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

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.

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 »
2. Marco Luciano*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Giants ($2,600,000) More »
3. Misael Urbina*, OF, Venezuela -- Twins (2,750,000) More »
4. Orelvis Martinez*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Blue Jays ($3,500,000) More »
5. Richard Gallardo*, RHP, Venezuela -- Cubs ($1,000,000) More »
6. Gabriel Rodriguez*, SS, Venezuela -- Indians ($2,100,000) More »
7. Noelvi Marte*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Mariners ($1,550,000) More »
8. Starlyn Castillo*, RHP, Dominican Republic -- Phillies ($1,600,000) More »
9. Osiel Rodriguez, RHP, Cuba -- Yankees More »
10. Kevin Alcantara, SS, Dominican Republic -- Yankees More »
11. Antonio Gomez*, C, Venezuela -- Yankees ($600,000) More »
12. Junior Sanquintin*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Indians ($1,250,000) More »
13. Francisco Alvarez*, C, Venezuela -- Mets ($2,700,000) More »
14. Sandy Gaston, RHP, Cuba
15. Jose De La Cruz*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Tigers (1,800,000) More »
16. Alvin Guzman*, OF, Dominican Republic -- D-backs (1,850,000) More »
17. Jose Lopez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Cubs ($1,500,000) More »
18. Eduarqui Fernandez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Brewers ($1,100,000) More »
19. Adinso Reyes*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Tigers ($1,450,000) More »
20. Eduardo Garcia, SS, Venezuela -- Brewers More »
21. Jose Rodriguez*, C, Venezuela -- Rangers ($2,000,000) More »
22. Alejandro Pie*, SS, Dominican Republic -- Rays ($1,400,000) More »
23. Eduardo Lopez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Red Sox ($1,150,000) More »
24. Alexander Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic -- Angels More »
25. Freddy Valdez*, OF, Dominican Republic -- Mets ($1,450,000) More »
26. Branlyn Jaraba*, SS, Colombia -- Brewers ($1,100,000) More »
27. Luis Matos*, OF, Venezuela -- Giants ($725,000) More »
28. Joel Machado*, LHP, Venezuela -- Cubs ($850,000) More »
29. Denny Larrondo*, RHP, Cuba -- Yankees ($550,000) More »
30. 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:

Angels
Darwin Moreno, OF, Venezuela -- $575,000

Astros
Yohander Martinez, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000
Miguel Palma, C, Venezuela -- $300,000
Cristian Gonzalez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000

Athletics
Roberto Garza, RHP, Mexico -- $300,0000

Brewers
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

Cardinals
Malcom Nunez, 3B, Cuba -- $300,000

Cubs
Rafael Morel, SS, Dominican Republic -- $850,000
Yohendrick Pinango, OF, Venezuela -- $400,000

D-backs
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

Dodgers
Miguel Droz, SS, Venezuela -- $600,000
Alex De Jesus, INF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000

Giants
Jairo Pomarez, OF, Cuba -- $975,0000

Indians
Sterling Romero, OF, Dominican Republic -- $650,000
Jesus Lara, SS, Venezuela -- $570,000
Angel Martinez, SS, Dominican Republic -- 500,000

Mariners
Asdrubal Bueno, SS, Venezuela -- $325,000

Marlins
Yoelvis Sanchez, OF, Dominican Republic - $400,000
Christhian, Rodriguez, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000

Nationals
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

Padres
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

Phillies
Alexeis Azuaje, INF, Venezuela -- $450,000
Joalbert Angulo, LHP, Venezuela -- $425,000
Andrick Nava, C, Venezuela -- $400,000
Javier Vina, C, Venezuela -- $300,000

Pirates
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

Rangers
Luisangel Acuna, INF, Venezuela -- $425,000
Junior Paniagua, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
Jhan Zambrano, RHP, Venezuela -- $300,000

Rays
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

Rockies
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

Royals
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

Tigers
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

Yankees
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 MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.