2017 International Signing Discussion, July 1, 2017

With the International Signing Period ready to begin, here is another article from John Yarusinsky.  In it he discusses the player that has been linked with the Phillies for several weeks, shortstop Luis Garcia.  

2017 International Signing Period: Who will be the Phillies top sign?


The 2017-18 international signing period begins on July 2, 2017 and runs through June 15, 2018. International players will be able to sign with any major league club; however, there are some caveats. First off, a player must turn 17 years old between July 2nd and June 15th of the following year, or by the end of the contract. Secondly, teams on average will only have $4.75 million to spend on international talent, unless they have competitive balance picks in rounds A and B of the MLB Draft which begins on June 12, 2017. Thirdly, any given team can trade bonus pool money to another club; however, it’s capped up to 75 percent. Lastly, if teams exceed their bonus pool, there will be strict penalties imposed. For example, during the 2014-15 international signing period, the Yankees exceeded their bonus pool and for the next two international signing periods (15-16, 16-17), the Yankees couldn’t sign any player for more than $300,000. Let’s see how the Phillies will fare.

For the 2017-18 international signing period, the Phillies will have $4.75 million to spend, assuming they don’t make trades for more bonus pool money. Although teams aren’t supposed to negotiate contracts with players until July 2nd (Mhmm…) Mlbpipeline.com just released the top 30 international prospects for the 2017-18 signing period:


According to Mlb.com international writer Jesse Sanchez, Dominican shortstop Luis Garcia (7th) will be selected by the Phillies. He’s not to be confused with Luis Garcia, another Dominican born shortstop taken by Washington in last year’s signing period. In the meantime, let’s put this year’s Garcia under the microscope, shall we?

Tale of the tape

  • Luis Garcia, SS
  • Hometown: San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. 
  • DOB: 10/1/00 H&W: 5’11” 160 Lbs.
  • Bats: Switch Throws: Right

Scouting Report 

Garcia isn’t the biggest kid, but people forget, he won’t turn 17 until October. As the old adage goes “Big things, come in small packages.” When a 130 pound kid named Jose Reyes was spotted in the Dominican Republic in 1999, many had doubts due to his lack of size. We all know how those doubters must be feeling. Garcia is very similar. Defensively, Garcia has excellent range and his footwork is off the charts. His arm is more than passable for someone his size. Garcia has plenty of room to fill out and add at least 20-30 pounds of muscle to his frame. From the left side of the plate, Garcia has a free and easy swing with minimal moving parts. He makes solid contact and scouts love how the ball jumps off of his bat. His bat speed is a tick above average. Garcia is never going to hit for power, but his speed is heralded by scouts as tops of this year’s crop. If all goes according to plan, Garcia can become a .300 leadoff hitter, rack up 160-170 hits in a season, with 30 stolen bases. Who wouldn’t love that?


So, how much money are we talking for Garcia’s services? Let’s allow history to do the work for us! Here are the Phillies top signings from the last four signing periods. The last row (highlighted) is what I think Garcia will sign for:

  • Period     Bonus Pool     Player/Position                       Rank       Bonus            Total Signed
    13-14       $2,289,700       Luis Encarnacion, 3B              4th       $1,000,000        35
    14-15       $3,221,000       Arquimedes Gamboa, SS     8th           $900,000        39
    15-16       $4,562,000       Jhailyn Ortiz, OF                     18th       $4,010,000        32
    16-17       $5,610,000       Brayan Gonzalez, SS             27th           $800,000        61
    17-18       $4,750,000       Luis Garcia, SS                            7th       $2,070,000        35?

One thing to point out is that due to the new collective bargaining agreement, the Phillies could receive more bonus pool money in trades with other clubs. So this analysis assumes that $4.75 million is all the Phillies have to work with.

I compared Garcia against the 13-14 signing period when the Phillies inked Luis Encarnacion. Why compare Garcia against this period specifically, you ask? For starters, excluding the 16-17 signing period, I averaged out how many players were signed during the remaining periods. The result was 35. Assuming the Phillies select 35 total players during the 17-18 signing period, to figure out Garcia’s worth, I divided the Phillies available bonus pool money against $2,289,700 million, the Phillies available money in 13-14. My result was 2.07. Why is this important? This mathematical correction allows us to assume what $2,289,700 would look like if the $4,750,000 threshold were imposed back then. Therefore, since Encarnacion received $1,000,000 during that signing period (43.5% of available bonus pool money), I multiplied this bonus by 2.07. If my calculations are correct, Garcia should receive $2,070,000 million, approximately 43.5% of the team’s bonus pool. Math is great, isn’t it?

What if Garcia gets hurt? 

If Garcia gets hurt, I’d put my money on the Phillies to sign Raimfer Salinas. Little is known about the Venezuelan-born outfielder; however, here’s some scouting video:


What I like about Salinas is that his swing is free and easy. There’s also noticeable loft to it which suggests to me that as he grows older, there’s going to be some uptick in power. Salinas has an absolute cannon of an arm. He’s listed at 6’0” 175, so that’s a type of frame where he can add 20-30 pounds of pure muscle. The Phillies signed another Venezuelan born player in the past (Carlos Tocci) so I wouldn’t be surprised if Salinas is taken. There’s potential five-tool talent in Salinas.


Here’s a link to the best players available:

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/228044602/revealing-top-30-international-prospects-list/?topicid= 151437456

As you can see, one of them is Pedro Martinez Jr., son of Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. That would be sick to see Pedro Martinez follow his son around the minors!

Editor’s Notes:

Baseball America has linked the Phillies with 4 of their Top 50 International Prospects.  In addition to #12 Garcia, they would be  #25 RHP Victor Vargas from Colombia, #41 RHP Carlos Betencourt, and #42 Cesar Rodiguez from Venezuela.  The scouting reports and such are behind their pay wall.

It is worth noting that the Phillies were one of the last teams to close their baseball academy in Venezuela.  This seems to have earned them some good will in the country.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sign another large group of Venezuelan prospects.


30 thoughts on “2017 International Signing Discussion, July 1, 2017

  1. This is why this team has struggled and also why in 4-5 years we will be loaded. I loved last year’s approach in LA, it’s great to hit on the low $ signings and also the million dollar guys. But I say sign as many as possible in the 6 figure category.

    1. From my view point (as an avid fan who reads as much as possible and watch videos but not an expect scout) I would say they will sign less amount of prospects as the quantity is there already. They will look for quality now. I think they already signed 8 or so better quality prospects or at least the price they paid says so.

  2. There are teams the Phillies could trade with to get more money to add to their base of $4.75M. Each team now must deal with a “hard cap” that cannot be exceeded under any circumstances. That said, penalties teams incurred in past signing periods, under the previous CBA, still carry over to 2017. That affects 11 teams…. the A’s, Braves, Astros, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Nationals, Padres, Reds and Royals, each of whom are in the maximum penalty. That means they cannot exceed $300,000 per player in this signing period.
    On the other hand, the Angels, Blue Jays, D-backs, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees have seen their penalties expire and will no longer be limited come July 2.
    But maybe Matt Klentak can make a few deals with some of those 11 teams and see if he can get a little more money.

  3. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen posted this information:

    Here are the way the tiers shake out for the 2017-18 J2 period. Asterisks denote teams in the penalty box. (Two asterisks means they’re in it next year, too.)

    $5.75 million:….ARI, BAL, CLE, COL, KC*, PIT, StL**, SD**

    $5.25 million:…CIN**, MIA, MIL, MIN, OAK**, TB

    $4.75 million:…ATL**, BOS, CHC*, CHW, DET, HOU**, LAA, LAD*, NYM, NYY, PHI, SF*, SEA, TEX, TOR, WAS**

  4. Jim, thanks so much for posting my write-up! It appears Garcia got a little more than I had envisioned. Close, but no cigar lol

  5. So far today (from Ben Badler, Baseball America), the Phillies have signed –
    Luis Garcia, ss, Dominican Republic (No. 12 prospect), $2.5 million
    Carlos Vargas, rhp, Colombia (No. 25 prospect), $525,000
    Carlos Betancourt, rhp, Venezuela (No. 41 prospect)
    Cesar Rodriguez, c, Venezuela (No. 42 prospect)
    Israel Puello, rhp, Dominican Republic, $460,0000.
    Oscar Gonzalez, c, Venezuela
    Cristian Hernandez, rhp, Venezuela
    Alberto Torres, lhp, Colombia

    1. Makes one wonder, assuming the info is true, how the Mets got this done! Ronny Mauricio, ss, Dominican Republic (No. 3 prospect), $2.1 million.

  6. Baseball America is NOT reporting bonuses for Venezuelan prospects. I will follow their lead. So far ALL reported signings that exceed $300K total $4,435,000. The Phillies have been allotted $4,750,000, so they can still go over $300K on one or more contracts by as much as $315,000, which they may have reached already for all we know.

  7. With the new guide lines, does it make LA signings a more level playing field? The penalties being imposed by MLB, are they making a difference?

    1. I’m got a “The media could not be played.” message when I attempted to view the video. Is this because of a Twitter setting I need to change?

  8. Romus, Hinkie, et al,
    This just in.
    The Phillies have traded Tyler Frohwirth, Caleb Eldridge, and James Lovett for International dollars.
    Frohwirth to Baltimore.
    Lovett to Seattle.
    Eldridge to a team in the AZL, not sure which.

      1. Thanks Jim.
        They may need the extra dollars.
        So far, for the following five I got…Luis Garcia @$2.5M….. Victor Vargas of Colombia @ $525,000, Carlos Betancourt of the Ven@ $450,000, DR’s Israel Puello @ $460,000 and Ven catcher Cesar Rodriguez @ $500,000…..for a grand total of $4.4M…..so the extra can get them maybe one or two more big signs

      2. Love it, Jim. Not sure how much international money they’ll bring back, but they are three players who were never going to be confused as being real prospects.

        1. i had never heard of lovett. he never got a hit with the Phils organization- 0 for 14 between last year and this.

    1. I hope they land more international money in future deals with Helickson, Nava, and other deadline targets. My hope is they still make a run at Irani this offseason. He has to be paid with J2 money.

      1. Hinkie, what’s the latest on Otani actually coming over here? Last I read, it wasn’t encouraging plus the Phillies weren’t even mentioned among the approx 8 teams interested.

      2. Glad that they are finally making a splash internationally but they should have been doing this all along, Middleton was part of the old ownership team so maybe he learned something.

  9. Last I heard … teams will have to get creative with ways to get around the new CBA and offer Otani a contract. I don’t know who the leaders for Otani are. I do know the Phillie have the most cap flexibility in the league.

  10. In addition to the eight listed above, Ben Badler, Baseball America has reported that the Phillies have signed –
    Alejandro Made, rhp, Dominican Republic
    Diego Tamariz, rhp, Venezuela

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