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Shadow Twins international signings for 2017

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Visiting an alternate universe

Tony Oliva
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Ben Badler at Baseball America is plowing through his outstanding International Prospect signings report, covering all players who got six figure (or more) bonuses over the 2017 signing period. It is behind the BA paywall but if you have a subscription, don’t miss that series of articles.

Badler isn’t quite done with his reviews yet, but it is nevertheless time to finalize my 2017 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 real 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 2017 this was $5,250,000, albeit with a large caveat (see below).

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 Phillies 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.

In the 2016 signing period, I did something that I had never done before, exceeding the bonus limitations by a large margin, this triggering penalties for the 2017 and 2018 signing periods.

This means that for the 2017 class, while I still get the $5,250,000 to spend, I could not spend more than $300,000 on any one player.

There were two additional complications:

****With the 10% bidding penalty to sign someone that another team signed in real life, I would normally not be allowed to sign anyone who actually did get $300,000 in real life. That didn’t seem quite fair since it would mean the penalty for the Shadow Twins would actually be worse than anything a real club faced. I decided to allow myself one player in that category, but only one.

****In real life the Twins traded $1,000,000 in international bonus money to the Angels for prospect Jacob Pearson and $1,000,000 in international bonus money to the Mariners for prospect Daniel Banuelos. I decided to stick with these transactions.

Anyway, here is the Shadow Twins 2017 International class.

2017 International budget $5,250,000

1) Danny Bautista, Jr, SS, Dominican Republic (Athletics real bonus $300,000) $300,000
2) Roybell Santodomingo, RHP, Venezuela (Rays real bonus $270,000 ) $300,000
3) Orlando Martinez, OF, Cuba (Angels real bonus $250,000) $300,000
4) Julio Robaina, LHP, Cuba (Astros real bonus $220,000) $250,000
5) Miguel Marte, SS, Dominican Rep (Yankees real bonus $200,000) $220,000
6) Axel Acevedo, RHP, Dom Rep (Dodgers real bonus $200,000) $220,000
7) Rolando Espinosa, SS, Cuba (Astros $175,000 real bonus) $200,000
8) Jose Andujar, OF, Dominican Republic (Twins) $190,000
9) Viandel Pena, SS, Dominican Republic (Nationals real bonus $150,000) $175,000
10) Daniel Castillo, SS, Venezuela (Brewers real bonus $140,000) $175,000
11) Sonny Vargas, LHP, Venezuela (Giants real bonus $150,000) $175,000
12) Luis Gomez, SS, Dominican Republic (Twins) $175,000
13) Willy Cabrera, RHP, Dominican Republic (Cubs real bonus $125,000) $150,000
14) Yordin Mateo, RHP, Dominican Republic (Twins) $150,000
15) Yolby Guzman, RHP, Dominican Republic (Twins) $140,000
16) Ivan Armstrong, RHP, Dom Rep (Giants $85,000 real bonus) $100,000
$3,220,000 spent on bonuses
Trade $1,000,000 to Angels for Jacob Pearson, OF
Trade $1,000,000 to Mariners for David Banuelos, C
Total Spent $5,220,000 out of $5,250,000 budget