The Phillies began signing players on the first day of the international signing period, and the process will continue through next spring.
According to industry sources, Yhoswar Garcia, a center fielder out of Venezuela, will highlight the club’s signing class and is expected to sign a deal worth more than $2 million sometime during the final month of the period. For now, the Phillies are expected to sign right-handed pitcher Jean Hernandez, shortstops Randy Vasquez and Jehisbert Sevilla, along with catchers Jackie Pertuz and Jose Colmenares for bonuses in the $200,000 to $350,000 range.
The club did not confirm the agreements.
Garcia is an athletic outfielder and a quality defender. He has the arm and running ability to stay in center field as he develops. At the plate, he shows good instincts and is a gap hitter. He is expected to develop more power as he physically matures.
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 international prospects, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive $5,939,800.
The Phillies, who lost $500,000 for signing free agent Bryce Harper, have a bonus pool of $4,821,400.
Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but clubs 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.