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Tigers sign 3 to open international signing period

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The Tigers have announced their first official signings of the international prospect period, reaching deals with a trio of Dominican teenagers. Shortstops Yoneiry Acevedo and Kevin Nivar and outfielder Jose Rodriguez all agreed to Minor League contracts.

Rodriguez signed for a $360,000 bonus, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Acevedo signed for $300,000, while Nivar signed for $260,000.

DETROIT -- The Tigers have announced their first official signings of the international prospect period, reaching deals with a trio of Dominican teenagers. Shortstops Yoneiry Acevedo and Kevin Nivar and outfielder Jose Rodriguez all agreed to Minor League contracts.

Rodriguez signed for a $360,000 bonus, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Acevedo signed for $300,000, while Nivar signed for $260,000.

The Tigers are expected to be busy this week on the international front. Venezuelan shortstop Alvaro Gonzalez has agreed to terms on a deal with a $1 million bonus, sources told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Detroit is expected to reach an agreement with another highly touted Venezuelan shortstop, Carlos Irigoyen, in the coming days. The Tigers don't announce deals until players have officially signed and contracts have been approved by the Commissioner's Office.

None of the players announced Monday, all 16-year-olds, were ranked. Gonzalez ranked 23rd on MLB Pipeline's list of the top 30 international prospects. Irigoyen ranked 43rd on Baseball America's list of top international prospects.

Acevedo comes out of the Dominican Prospect League, though he wasn't ranked in their elite class of prospects for this summer. Tigers scouts saw very good defensive skills, including a reliable glove and strong arm from the 5-foot-10, 150-pound switch-hitter, along with line-drive power at the plate.

Nivar, listed at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, ranked as one of the top prospects out of the Nube Baseball Academy in the Dominican. The right-handed hitter is more of an offensive infielder with above-average bat speed and potential to hit for average with power.

Rodriguez, listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, is a bigger outfielder for his size and projects to grow with age. That strength reflects in his scouting report, with potential for right-handed power at the plate and a strong arm in the field to stick in a corner-outfield role.

The Tigers have traditionally focused a good portion of their international efforts on Venezuela, where they're one of the few teams to still have an academy for young players. However, they've still found talent in the Dominican, signing current Astros pitcher David Paulino in 2010, 10th-ranked prospect Sandy Baez in 2011, current Rays top prospect Willy Adames in 2012 and 13th-ranked relief prospect Gerson Moreno the same year.

According to the new rules established by the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement, every team gets at least $4.75 million to spend on international prospects. Any team receiving a Competitive Balance Round A pick in the Draft gets $5.25 million in international bonus pool money. Additionally, teams receiving a Competitive Balance Round B pick get $5.75 million to spend.

A club can trade as much of its international pool money as it would like, but there is a limit -- 75 percent of a team's initial pool -- to how much one team can acquired.

Detroit's pool total for this year's signing period is $4.75 million. The Tigers have historically spread their pool money across several prospects rather than hinge most of their fortunes on one high-bonus player. That strategy began with former general manager Dave Dombrowski and has continued under current GM Al Avila.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Detroit Tigers