International Bonus Pools for 2015-16

These are the dollar amounts teams can pay bonuses for international players beginning July 2. Teams that go over this amount are subject to penalty and can be restricted to a maximum $300,000 bonus for any player over the next two years. While the Diamondbacks have the highest bonus pool, they have a $300,000 limit they can pay a player because they exceeded their bonus allotment based on the Yoan Lopez signing. So they can sign 18 players for $300,000 or trade some of their dollars to other teams (based on what the value of a first round, second round or third round pick would be). The Angels, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees are all subject to the $300,000 limit, three of those teams being in the AL East.

The value of the international bonus salaries for each team are:

1. Diamondbacks - $5,393,900
2. Rockies - $4,966,300
3. Rangers - $4,586,600
4. Astros - $4,248,800
5. Twins - $3,948,500
6. Red Sox - $3,681,000
7. White Sox - $3,443,000
8. Cubs - $3.230,700
9. Phillies - 3,041,700
10. Reds - $2,873,000
11. Marlins - $2,779,300
12. Padres - $2,691,800
13. Rays - $2,609,200
14. Mets - $2,531,300
15. Braves - $2,458,400
16. Brewers - $2,389,300
17. Blue Jays - $2,324,100
18. Yankees - $2,262,800
19. Indians - $2,204,900
20. Mariners - $2,150,300
21. Giants - $2,139,900
22. Pirates - $2,111,900
23. Athletics - $2,093,100
24. Royals - $2,074,700
25. Tigers - $2,056,200
26. Cardinals - $2,038,200
27. Dodgers - $2,020,300
28. Orioles - $2,002,900
29. Nationals - $1,985,400
30. Angels - $1,968,600

The Dodgers were rumored to have offered Yoan Moncada more than the Red Sox bonus payment, but the condition was he had to wait until after July 2 to sign. Many teams have already established dollar commitments to 2015/16 international free agents and if they had signed Moncada to the bonus he was asking for prior to July 2 they would have had to renege on many of those bonus promises they had made to the 2015/16 international free agents. Expect the Dodgers to be a team that will go over their international bonus ceiling next year and major league baseball looking to add more teeth to the penalties to discourage teams from going over their international allotment. Teams seem to avoid the penalties established under the domestic draft.

Why the Diamondbacks were able to pay Yasmany Tomas a seven year contract with a minimal bonus while the Red Sox were forced to shatter the bonus payment record is because of the requirement major league baseball placed on the signing of players who are under 23 years of age. They can no longer be immediately placed on the 40 man roster, which prevents them from offering multi year contracts. So the Red Sox were forced to pay the high bonus, which they have three years to pay, plus a posting fee (penalty) of $33 million to sign Moncada.

These assessments of international penalties could be a reason for the absence of Japanese premier players being posted. The Japanese teams are unwilling to accept an artificially low posting payment (set at a maximum of $20 million) when they see major league teams are willing to pay $33 million in a penalty for a premium Cuban player. Restrictions and regulations can be a dangerous web we weave, establishing unexpected conditions, such as $30 million plus bonus payments.

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