Ben Badler at Baseball America finished his his outstanding International Prospect signings report last week, covering all players who got six figure (or more) bonuses over the 2016 signing period. It is behind the BA paywall but if you have a subscription, don't miss that series of articles.
This also means that it is time to finalize my 2016 Shadow Twins international signings.
As many of you know, I started doing a Shadow draft for the Twins way back in 1996, creating my own alternate universe farm system. I started doing international signings of my own in 2012. Before that I just signed the same international players that the rea Twins signed, meaning that I did get to keep Miguel Sano since he signed before I started doing this.
The ground rules I have established for international Shadow signings are simple:
A) The Shadow Twins get the same bonus pool amount as the real Twins. For 2016 this was $2,399,100.
B) If I want to go over that pool amount, the Shadow Twins would be subject to the same penalty as a real team: That means that I can go up to five percent over without any trouble but anything past five percent would limit my ability to sign players in subsequent years.
C) If I want to sign a player who signed with a different team in real life, the Shadow Twins bonus must exceed the real life team bonus by 10%. That means if I want someone who signed with the Brewers for $1,000,000, I have to spend $1,100,000 to get him. However, if I sign a player that the real Twins signed, then the money is the same as in real life since I wouldn't be bidding against myself.
D) Once a player has taken the field in professional baseball, I can't sign him retroactively This has to be done without any pro evidence.
E) My self-imposed deadline for finalizing the list each year is April 15th.
I will post the 2012-2015 classes in the comments section. As for 2016, I wrote last April that for 2016 “...the real Twins have $2,399,100 to work with so that's what I get too. However, this year I intend to bust the pool limit, which will trigger penalties for 2017 but will be a lot of fun.”
That’s what I did, although with some limitations. I have always wanted to get into Cuban talent, looking for the next Tony Oliva, but the price tags have been too high. Moving past the bonus limit solved that issue, however in order to retain some sense of realism, I can’t just say that I signed everybody, penalties in 2017 or no.
Even going past the bonus limit I felt it necessary for the sake of realism to put some structure in place, so I decided to approach it like a draft class, with informal slots, in this case allowing myself one player with a bonus between 2 and 3 million and another between 1 and 2 million. There was no art in saying “I signed Kevin Maitan”.
Anyway, here’s what I have.
2016 Top International Signings Bonus Pool ($2,399,100)
1) Ronald Bolanos, RHP, Cuba (Padres) $2,500,000
2) Randy Arozarena, OF, Cuba (Cardinals) $1,400,000
3) Nerio Rodriguez, C, Dominican Republic (Astros) $ 500,000
4) Junior Navas, RHP, Venezuela (Twins) $ 275,000|
5) Jimmy Mojica, OF, Dominican Republic (Tigers) $250,000
6) Jeison Contreras, RHP, Dominican Republic (Jays) $ 200,000
7) Bryan Torres, SS, Venezuela (Padres) $ 200,000
8) Mike Garcia, RHP, Venezuela (Indians) $ 160,000
9) Edwin Bisay, C, Venezuela (Angels) $ 160,000
10) Josue Huma, SS, Dominican Republic (Cubs) $ 160,000
11) Aldry Acosta, RHP, Venezuela (Dodgers) $ 140,000
12) Rodrigo Garcia, RHP, Dominican Republic (Yanks) $ 110,000
13) Jose Lopez, LHP, Dominican Republic (Rays) $ 110,000
14) Carlos Paula, RHP, Dominican Republic (Cubs) $110,000
Total Bonuses 6,275,000
Amount subject to 100% overage tax $3,875,900
Total Spent $10,150,900
This means that I can’t sign any player for more than $300,000 in both the 2017 and 2018 signing windows. And I’m OK with that. In fact I find it more enjoyable to pick out the lower money guys who could do well.
Check the comments for the 2012 through 2015 classes to see how I’m doing.