The 2016-2017 international amateur signing period opened on July 2nd, and A.J. Preller’s staff was ready. It’s been known that the Padres were going to blow through their pool limit, and the check book has been smoking. They’ve been the most active organization by far, and it’s only the first day of the signing period. Here is a breakdown of the players that have signed as of now, with BaseballAmerica’s ranking and any reported bonuses:
- Luis Almanzar, ss, Dominican Republic (No. 2 prospect), $4 million.
- Gabriel Arias, ss, Venezuela (No. 4 prospect)
- Jeisson Rosario, of, Dominican Republic (No. 6 prospect), $1.85 million.
- Alison Quintero, c, Venezuela (No. 22 prospect)
- Justin Lopez, ss, Venezuela (No. 28 prospect)
- Tirso Ornelas, of, Mexico (No. 34 prospect)
- Michell Miliano, rhp, Dominican Republic (No. 48 prospect)
- Yordy Barley, ss, Dominican Republic (No. 50 prospect), $1 million.
- Jose Manuel Guzman, rhp, Dominican Republic, $400,000.
- Tucupipa Marcano, ss, Venezuela
That’s three of the top six prospects and eight of the top fifty, for ten overall. Cubans Jorge Ona and and Adrian Morejon are expected to sign with the Padres as well once cleared by MLB, which should happen during this signing period as well. For more information on the ranked prospects, BaseballAmerica posted scouting reports (link, subscription requred) which tell you what you probably can guess: they’re all crazy athletic and raw with at least one tool that jumps off the page.
The Padres entered this period with a bonus pool of $3,347,600. As outlined in this MLBTR article, penalties for the international bonus pool are as follows (international bonus pools only apply to players who are under the age of 23 and have fewer than three years of professional experience):
- All overages are taxed at 100 percent.
- Exceed bonus pool by 5 to 10 percent: Team is not allowed to sign a player for more than $500K in the following international signing period.
- Exceed by 10 to 15 percent: Team is not allowed to sign a player for more than $300K in the following international signing period.
- Exceed by more than 15 percent: Team is not allowed to sign a player for more than $300K in the following two international signing periods.
It’s clear that the Padres are going well over the most severe limit here, so they will be restricted for two years on top of paying heavy taxes this year. It’s safe to say that Preller and his scouts are "all in" with this pool of prospects. Combine this crop with a very deep draft crop and the organization has been purged and then stocked with hand-chosen talent. With the signing of outfielder Buddy Reed, all twelve players selected in the first ten rounds of the draft and at least 26 of the 43 players selected overall have come to terms with the organization. The "Countdown to Contention" must start now.