Jun 28, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves logo in the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Sign Ten International Prospects

Julio Teheran and Luis Avilan were both signed as International Amateur Free Agents. Graphic created by Fred Owens. Original photographs Danile Shirley and Kim Klement USA Today Sports

Tuesday was the first day teams could submit contracts for this year’s class of July 2nd international prospects. This isn’t like the rule 4 amateur draft however, this is more of a free-for-all, silent auction involving players as young as 16. Teams have slots and a pool of money they can spend but they don’t have to spend it by slot,  they can combine it on one or two prospects if they want. This year for the first time teams can actually trade slot money to increase their allowance but of course, it’s not that simple. It has however caused some interesting transactions already.

A Primer

Baseball America’s  Ben Badler  wrote a nice piece on it back in April (membership required) but I’ll try to give you the highlights. While teams can trade for up to 50% more slot money they can’t say would you like half a million in slot money? You would? Send me that pitcher you have at Sheboygan and we have a deal. Nope too easy.

  • Teams have four slots each with value assigned by MLB.
  • Add $700K to get the base value of the team’s bonus pool.
  • Teams can trade slots until June 15, 2014 – no trade deadline here
  • Teams most trade the whole slot value; you can’t split a slot value between teams even if one of those teams is you
  • If you acquire more than 150% of your pool you can still spend just 150%, the rest vanishes
  • Once a team has spent all 150% of its pool it cannot trade for more slot money
  • Cash considerations is not for slots but if a player is included in the trade a portion of the salary can be included
  • No trading of future slots; i.e. 2015 slots
  • Multiple team trades are allowed – This can get as complicated the teams imaginations allow as long as no rules are broken
  • In addition teams may sign six players for bonuses of $50,000 or less that will not count against its pool
  • A bonus of $10,000 or less doesn’t count a team’s bonus pool
  • There are penalties as well but this year’s crop of prospects that’s not likely

The Braves have a pool of $1,893,800. Why not an even $2M? Who knows, I’m sure there’s some intricate calculation involved that makes sense to those who created it.  There’s a complete list on Baseball America.  Using the above rules the Braves could for example trade up to as much as $2,840,700 if they could find a trade partner.

Uh. . .can you give me examples? Why, yes I can thanks for asking.

Slot Trading In Action

Tuesday the Cubs made a couple of moves adding $963,100 to their pool. According to MLBTR and multiple sources cited there, this is how it went down.  First they unloaded err sent Carlos Marmol  and their fourth International slot worth $209,700 to LA for Matt Guerrier. They also sent $2M of Marmol’s pay. It could cost them more if Marmol is released and signs elsewhere. See I told you these could get complicated but wait, there’s more. About that time the Cubbies sent  Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger  to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta and apparently longing for another reliever with a big arm who has no idea where the pitch will go, reliever Pedro Strop. The O’s included the slot allocation for their third and fourth slots adding about $338,100 to the Cubs basic pool of $4,557,200. The Cubs also traded Ronald Torreyes to Houston for $784,700 of their slot money.

The Cubs slot trading made it obvious that they would be big players in order to add more minor league quality. This proved true yesterday when they jumped out and immediately signed two top ten prospects and BA’s 16th (MLB 17th) ranked prospect. Okay now that we’ve seen how it works what’s it mean for the Braves?

Braves International

The Braves have a long and successful history of signing International Free Agents and prospects. Names you’ll recognize from these signings include Ernesto Mejia in 2004, Luis Avilan in 2005, Randall Delgado in 2006 and Julio Teheran in 2007.  In February  Baseball America profiled the Braves largest 2012 signings (membership required). Here are the high points from that piece. The biggest check ($550,000) went to Venezuelan RHP Yeralf Torres. There were a half dozen other signings larger than $100K;

With that history of success it’s reasonable to expect them to be active in that market this year.


Top Prospects

Baseball America posted details on their top 30 prospects shown in the table below with the MLB rank and if already signed the team they signed for on July 2. Remember some of these young men are just 16 and may be 5 year away while others may be closer. Ages for the players are on the BA page linked above. You’ll see that many of these guys are already gone.

Baseball America Ranks MLB Rk Signed
1. Eloy Jimenez, of, Dominican Republic (video)  1 Cubs
2. Gleyber Torres, ss, Venezuela  3 Cubs
3. Rafael Devers, 3b, Dominican Republic (video)  6 Red Sox
4. Luis Encarnacion, 3b, Dominican Republic (video) 12
5. Leonardo Molina, cf, Dominican Republic (video) 5
6. Marcos Diplan, rhp, Dominican Republic (video)  8 Rangers
7. Yeyson Yrizarri, ss, Venezuela/Dominican Republic 23 Rangers
8. Yeltsin Gudino, ss, Venezuela (video)  11 Jays
9. Micker Zapata, of, Dominican Republic  2 White Sox
10. Jose Herrera, c, Venezuela 7 D’Backs
11. Carlos Herrera, ss, Venezuela 15 Rockies
12. Marten Gasparini, ss, Italy  4 Royals
13. Erick Julio, rhp, Colombia   14 Rockies
14. Jesus Lopez, ss, Nicaragua (video) N/R
15. Lewin Diaz, of/1b, Dominican Republic (video)  10 Twins
16. Erling Moreno, rhp, Colombia (video)  17 Cubs
17. Carlos Hiciano, ss, Dominican Republic (video)  26 A’s
18. Freddy Rodriguez, of, Venezuela (video)  N/R Jays
19. Mayky Perez, rhp, Dominican Republic (video) 9
20. Nicolas Pierre (Figueroa), of, Dominican Republic  28 Brewers
21. Greifer Andrade, of, Venezuela 20
22. Cristhian Vasquez, of, Venezuela  N/R Royals
23. Jen-Ho Tseng, rhp, Taiwan (video) 29
24. Wilson Amador, ss, Dominican Republic N/R
25. Ali Sanchez, c, Venezuela  N/R Mets
26. Michael de Leon, ss, Dominican Republic (video) 27
27. Ricardo Sanchez, lhp, Venezuela N/R Angels
28. Carlos Talavera, of, Venezuela (video)  N/R Cards
29. Anderson Franco, 3b, Dominican Republic (video) 16
30. Luis Carpio, ss, Venezuela N/R
N/R Jose Virgilio Almonte, Of, Dominican Republic 13
N/R Yimmelvyn Alonzo, SS, Dominican Republic 18
N/R Lucas Tirado, SS, Dominican Republic 19
N/R Bryan Lizardo, 3B, Dominican Republic 21
N/R Franly Mallen, SS, Dominican Republic 22
N/R Emmanuel DeJesus, LHP, Venezuela 24
N/R Wladimir Galindo, 3B, Venezuela 25
N/R Wasner Peguero, OF, Dominican Republic 30

Braves signings

The Braves haven’t jumped into the top 30 – or top 38 if you combine the two lists – yet but they have signed some players.  Kiley McDaniel via Twitter reports that the Braves have signed shortstop Ozhaino Albies from Curacao and Panamanian RHP Frank Gil both for $350K and another shortstop from Curacao, Kevin Josephina for $300K. Also reported signed are RHP Jason Laguna from Nicaragua, LHP Luis Barrios from Columbia, his twin brother SS Rafael Barrios, OF Jeyson Cabrera, shortstop Ronny Guillermo, RHP Luis Perez all from the Dominican Republic and OF Jose Pina from Venezuela (Twitter Link).

That’s A Wrap

I don’t have a lot of information on these players yet as they aren’t in the spotlight on Baseball America or MLB.com and like everything these days, unless you’re flavor of the day information is harder to come by. As I get more information I’ll post it here on the Take. As I noted above, international signings like these have no deadline and will continue throughout the season. As I get updates I’ll let you know what I know.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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