The window for signing the former Braves prospects who became free agents in the wake of the organization's international rules violations opened on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET, and it didn't take long for teams to step through it.Thirteen players who were previously under contract by the Braves were put
The window for signing the former Braves prospects who became free agents in the wake of the organization's international rules violations opened on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET, and it didn't take long for teams to step through it.
Thirteen players who were previously under contract by the Braves were put back on the international market, and almost immediately after the beginning of the new signing period established by Major League Baseball, the deals began. The biggest was Kevin Maitan, who is the No. 38 overall prospect and was the No. 1 prospect on MLBPipeline.com's Top 30 international prospect list when the 2016-17 signing period began that July (he was later supplanted by Luis Robert).
Maitan originally signed for $4.25 million, and it was reported on Tuesday that he had agreed to terms with the Angels on a new deal for $2.2 million. Later in the evening, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez learned that the Halos had also agreed to a deal with 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Livan Soto for $850,000.
Right-hander Yefri Del Rosario, who received $1 million from the Braves in the same signing period, agreed to terms with the Royals for $650,000 on Tuesday. And the Phillies landed 18-year-old Venezuelan catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, agreeing to terms on a deal worth $550,000. Gutierrez signed with the Braves for $3,530,000 in July of 2016.
On Thursday, right-hander Guillermo Zuniga agreed to terms with the Dodgers on a deal worth $205,000. Then on Friday, the Twins inked 18-year-old Yunior Severinio to a $2.5 million deal, per a report from Sanchez. The Dominican shortstop had held an open workout earlier in the day.
Here's the complete list of players, along with their original signing bonuses and their new teams and bonuses:
Ji-hwan Bae, SS, $300,000
Juan Contreras, RHP, $1,2000,000
Yefri Del Rosario, RHP, $1,000,000 - Royals, $650,000More »
Abrahan Gutierrez, C, $3,530,000 - Phillies, $550,000 More »
Kevin Maitan, SS, $4,250,000 - Angels, $2,200,000More »
Brandol Mezquita, OF, $300,000
Juan Carlos Negret, OF, $1,000,000 - Royals More »
Yenci Pena, SS, $1,050,000
Angel Rojas, INF, $300,000
Yunior Severino, INF, $1,900,000 - Twins, $2,500,000More »
Livan Soto, SS, $1,000,000 - Angels, $850,000 More »
Antonio Sucre, OF, $300,000
Guillermo Zuniga, RHP, $350,000 - Dodgers, $205,000
Each player who was declared a free agent gets to keep his original signing bonus in addition to the bonus he gets from his new team. The free agents are eligible to sign during a special signing period that will end on Jan. 15, 2018, at 5 p.m. ET. If a player hasn't signed by Jan. 15, he is ineligible to receive a signing bonus from any club. If a player hasn't signed by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, albeit with no bonus. All players are required to find new representation for this process.
Any team wanting to pursue any of these prospects will get a little help. Major League Baseball has given an exemption to any team signing players who became free agents. The first $200,000 of the subsequent bonuses for any of the former Braves prospects will not be subject to signing pools. In addition, as a special stipulation for these players, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the current (2017-18) signing period or the following one (2018-19), though teams can't combine pool money. The Angels only had $1.315 million left for this signing period, so it's clear they are using money from next year's pool to sign Maitan.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.