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Here's where top int'l prospects are signing

@JesseSanchezMLB
January 18, 2021

January 15th is the new July 2nd. The date has changed, but the excitement and its significance to baseball remains the same. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the international signing period that was scheduled to begin on July 2, 2020, starts today and ends on Dec. 15, 2021. The future

January 15th is the new July 2nd.

The date has changed, but the excitement and its significance to baseball remains the same.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the international signing period that was scheduled to begin on July 2, 2020, starts today and ends on Dec. 15, 2021.

The future is now.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the game of baseball at all levels. The start of this signing period is an important step back toward normal life for players, trainers and all who help to grow the game of baseball around the world,” said Morgan Sword, MLB's Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations. “We congratulate all of the players who will sign professional contracts in the coming days. This contract is the culmination of a lifetime of hard work for them, their families and all who supported their development.”

Some of the biggest names in baseball -- players like Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña Jr., Eloy Jiménez and many other young stars -- were picked up during the international signing period. Emerging prospects like Wander Franco (Rays), Cristian Pache (Braves), Julio Rodríguez (Mariners), Marco Luciano (Giants) and Noelvi Marte (Mariners) were also signed during their respective international period. There are hundreds of prospects signed during the period who are developing in the Minor Leagues and others that will be packaged in trades.

And more future stars are on the way.

“This is an exciting day each year when a new class of the best players from around the world enter the professional game,” Sword said. “There are some exceptionally talented players in this class that will reach the Major Leagues very quickly, and we’re looking forward to watching them develop.”

Headlining this year’s class is Yoelqui Céspedes, the younger half-brother of free-agent outfielder Yoenis Céspedes. At age 23, Yoelqui could be the first player in the group to reach the Major Leagues. He is considered a five-tool player with above-average tools across the board. The outfield prospect defected from the Cuban National Team in June 2019 while participating in the Can-Am League in New York, and while in Cuba, he played for his country’s World Baseball Classic and Caribbean Series teams. He also starred for Granma in Cuba’s Serie Nacional from 2015-17.

Follow @JesseSanchezMLB and @MLBPipeline for all of the details.

Below is a look at which players from MLB.com’s Top 30 International Prospects lists have agreed to terms with clubs, and for how much. Unless otherwise noted, clubs have not confirmed the deals.

The market is still to be determined for prospects No. 2 Oscar Colas and shortstop Dyan Jorge (No. 20).

1) Yoelqui Céspedes, OF, Cuba – White Sox ($2,050,000) # More »
2) Oscar Colas, LHP/OF, Cuba -- TBD
3) Wilman Diaz, SS, Venezuela – Dodgers ($2,697,500) # More »
4) Carlos Colmenarez, SS, Venezuela – Rays ($3,000,000) # More »
5) Armando Cruz, SS, Dominican Republic – Nationals ($3,900,000) # More »
6) Cristian Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic – Cubs ($3,000,000) More »
7) Pedro Leon, OF, Cuba – Astros ($4,000,000) # More »
8) Jesus Galiz, C, Venezuela – Dodgers ($812,500) # More »
9) Rickardo Perez, C, Venezuela – Phillies ($1,000,000) More »
10) Yiddi Cappe, SS, Cuba – Marlins ($3,500,000) # More »
11) Shalin Polanco, OF, Dominican Republic – Pirates ($2,350,000) # More »
12) Daniel Vazquez, SS, Dominican Republic – Royals ($1,497,500) More »
13) Pedro Pineda, OF, Dominican Republic – Athletics ($2,500,000) # More »
14) Cristian Santana, SS, Dominican Republic – Tigers ($2,975,000) More »
15) Norge Vera, RHP, Cuba – White Sox ($1,500,000) More »
16) Danny De Andrade, SS, Venezuela – Twins ($2,200,000) More »
17) Jhonny Piron, OF, Dominican Republic – Rays (1,825,000) # More »
18) Jackson Chourio, SS, Venezuela – Brewers ($1,800,000) More »
19) Victor Acosta, SS, Dominican Republic – Padres ($1,800,000) More »
20) Dyan Jorge, SS, Cuba – TBD
21) Miguel Bleis, OF, Dominican Republic – Red Sox ($1,500,000) More »
22) Diego Velasquez, SS, Venezuela – Giants ($900,000) More »
23) Angel Genao, SS, Dominican Republic – Indians ($1,175,000) # More »
24) Manuel Beltre, SS, Dominican Republic – Blue Jays ($2,350,000) # More »
25) Fran Alduey, SS, Dominican Republic – Indians ($1,200,000) # More »
26) Ariel Almonte, OF, Dominican Republic – Reds ($1,850,000) More »
27) Abel Bastidas, SS, Venezuela – Tigers ($1,175,000) More »
28) Fredy LaFlor, SS, Dominican Republic – Twins ($1,100,000) More »
29) Denzer Guzman, SS, Dominican Republic – Angels ($2,000,000) More »
30) Maikol Hernandez, SS, Venezuela – Orioles ($1,200,000) # More »

Scouting reports, video, tool grades »
# Indicates signing is official

What are the rules?

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15, 2021. He must turn 16 before he signs. In practical terms, that means players born after Sept. 1, 2004, are eligible to sign.

Players have to be registered with Major League Baseball in advance in order to be eligible to sign.

How much money does each team have to spend?

Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft receive a pool of $6,431,000 for spending on international prospects, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A receive $5,889,600. The remaining teams get bonus pools of $5,348,100 each -- excluding the Angels and Phillies, who receive $4,732,700; the Yankees ($4,232,700); and the Braves ($1,572,000). Atlanta is in the final year of reduced bonus pools as part of penalty for violating international signing guidelines.

The Braves also forfeited $500,000 for each of their signings of Marcell Ozuna and Will Smith in the 2019-20 offseason. The Yankees lost $1 million for signing Gerrit Cole, while the Phillies and the Angels each forfeited $500,000 for signing Zack Wheeler and Anthony Rendon, respectively.

Teams cannot trade bonus pool money for the 2020-21 period. 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.

$6,431,000: Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Tampa Bay

$5,889,600: Arizona, Baltimore, Cleveland, Colorado, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis

$5,348,100: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Houston, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco, Texas, Toronto, Washington

$4,732,700: Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia

$4,232,700: New York Yankees

$1,572,000: Atlanta

Which teams will be the most active?

Every team is expected to be active as front offices across the league understand the importance of acquiring international talent. The bonus pool system has created parity on the international market.

The White Sox are among the teams making a big splash on the market, agreeing to deals with a pair of high-profile players in Céspedes and Norge Vera. The Dodgers, Nationals, Twins, Rays, Indians, Tigers and Astros are also being aggressive. Add the D-backs, Royals, Padres, Brewers and Angels to the large list of clubs that will sign players through the period.

Here's a look at players outside the Top 30 who have agreed to deals for $300,000 or more:

Astros
Rich Del Rosario, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000

Blue Jays
Luis Garcia, SS, Venezuela -- $520,000
Jhonatan Peguero, C, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
Yhoangel Aponte, CF, Venezuela -- $360,000
Yeuni Munoz, OF, Dominican Republic -- $315,000

Braves
Ambioris Tavarez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $1,500,000

Brewers
Daniel Guilarte, SS, Venezuela -- $1,000,000
Gregory Barrios, SS, Venezuela -- $1,000,000
Hendry Mendez, OF, Dominican Republic -- $735,000
Ney Serrano, SS, Dominican Republic -- $360,000

Cardinals
Leonardo Bernal, C, Panama -- $680,000
Elias Reynosa, SS, Dominican Republic -- $575,000
Carlos Carmona, CF, Venezuela -- $350,000
Christian Avendano, CF, Venezuela -- $300,000
Samil De La Rosa, SS, Dominican Republic -- $300,000

Cubs
Moises Ballesteros, C, Venezuela -- $1,200,000

Dodgers
Rayne Doncon, SS, Dominican Republic -- $497,500

Giants
Ramon Peralta, SS, Dominican Republic -- $597,500
Brian Guzman, SS, Venezuela -- $537,500
Mauricio Pierre, OF, Panama -- $490,000
Samuel Rodriguez, SS, Venezuela -- $442,500

Indians
Robert Lopez, C, Venezuela -- $1,000,000
Richard Polanco, SS, Dominican Republic -- $530,000
Yefrii Rivera, SS, Dominican Republic -- $500,000

Marlins
Kevin Guerrero, OF, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
Ronald Hernandez, C, Venezuela -- $850,000
Edward Duran, C, Venezuela -- $450,000

Mets
Yohairo Cuevas, OF, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
Elian Nunez, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
Diego Mosquera, SS, Venezuela -- $400,000
Samuel Camacaro, SS, Venezuela -- $330,000
Lenerd Ramos, RHP, Venezuela -- $300,000
Gustavo Marquez, OF, Venezuela -- $300,000

Nationals
Gustavo Rivas, RHP, Venezuela -- $450,000

Orioles
Samuel Basallo, C, Dominican Republic -- $1,300,000
Wilmer Feliciano, CF, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
Victor Celedonio, SS, Dominican Republic -- $360,000
Eruviel Castillo, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
Anderson De Los Santos, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
Teudis Cortorreal, CF, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
Yasmil Bucce, C, Venezuela -- $300,000

Padres
Samuel Zavala, OF, Venezuela -- $1,200,000
Daniel Montesino, OF, Venezuela -- $1,000,000
Bradgley Rodriguez, RHP, Venezuela --$370,000

Phillies
Yemal Flores, OF, Dominican Republic -- $1,300,000
Marco Soto, SS, Venezuela -- $375,000
Leonardo Rondon, SS, Venezuela -- $350,000
Raylin Heredia, OF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000

Pirates
Jose Garces, RHP, Colombia -- $350,000
Rubel Lebron, SS, Dominican Republic -- $350,000
John Zorrilla, SS, Dominican Republic -- $450,000

Rangers
Yeison Morrobel, OF, Dominican Republic -- $1,800,000
Danyer Cueva, SS, Venezuela -- $1,025,000
Yeferson Tineo, SS, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
Julio Pinto, SS, Venezuela -- $400,000

Rays
Luis Ariza, SS, Venezuela -- $430,000

Reds
Malvin Valdez, OF, Dominican Republic -- $1,900,000
Luis Reyes, SS, Venezuela -- $680,000
Brayan Rijo, OF, Dominican Republic -- $750,000
Carlos Jorge, SS, Dominican Republic -- $495,000
Jose Serrano, SS, Venezuela -- $450,000

Red Sox
Enderso Lira, C, Venezuela -- $850,000
Luis Ravelo, SS, Dominican Republic -- $545,000
Jedixon Paez, RHP, Venezuela -- $450,000
Ahbram Liendo, IF, Venezuela -- $450,000
Alvaro Mejias, RHP, Venezuela -- $300,000

Rockies
Jordy Vargas, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
Jose Colina, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000
Luis Paredes, CF, Dominican Republic -- $300,000
Bryan Perez, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $750,000
Felix Tena, OF, Dominican Republic -- $700,000
Gabriel Terrero, SS, Dominican Republic -- $650,000
Claudio Galva, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
Rony Cruz, RHP, Dominican Republic -- $325,000
Andy Perez, SS, Cuba -- $300,000

Royals
Diego Guzman, SS, Venezuela -- $447,500

Tigers
Rayner Castillo, SS, Dominican Republic -- $600,000
Carlos Pelegrin, OF, Cuba -- $550,000
Yimmy Diaz, SS, Venezuela -- $300,000

Twins
Rafael Cruz, SS, Dominican Republic -- $500,000
Reynaldo Madrigal, OF, Dominican Republic -- $400,000
Luis Rodriguez, SS, Dominican Republic -- $360,000
Andres Centeno, OF, Venezuela -- $300,000

Jesse Sanchez, who has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.