Rays to sign int’l prospects Pena, De La Cruz

July 2nd, 2019

The Rays are expected to sign close to 20 prospects during the international signing period, highlighted by center fielder Jose Pena and infielder Wilmer De La Cruz.

The diverse group of signees features players with several different types of profiles and is primarily made up of shortstops and projectable pitching.

Among the young pitchers expected to join the Rays is right-hander Angel Guaiquirian of Venezuela. The Rays are also expected to sign shortstop Alexis Feliz of the Dominican Republic.

The club has not confirmed the deals.

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 like the Rays that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive $5,939,800 for spending on international prospects.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but a club 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.