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Major League Baseball further reduces international signing money

Dec 10, 2013, 5:14 PM EST

stack of money

Major League Baseball has apparently made it its mission to reduce the amount of money teams can spend on international and amateur talent. There are now hard caps and slots and it has made it much harder for teams to build on the cheap as opposed to going out into the free agent market. Because, after all, even without the signing caps, far less overall money was spent on international free agents and amateurs than on established major leaguers.

Well, now they’re reducing the international money even further. Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that teams will have $300,000 less to spend on international signees beginning in the 2014-15 signing period.

That reduction comes in the form of the up to six $50,000 exempted bonuses available to each team. The way those worked was, if the team had tapped out its entire overall signing bonus pool, they could offer up to $50,000 to six players who they may have missed previously. Now that’s being eliminated.

What the point of all of that is is beyond me, but it seems crazy to me that Major League Baseball thinks it’s priority to take a mere $50K away from some kid in the Dominican Republic when so much more money — multiples of 1000 or more — is being spent elsewhere.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Just ask anyone in the DR…they all have too much money. That right there is your problem.

  2. detectivejimmymcnulty - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    I”d imagine $50k would go pretty far in the D.R. Never been, so completely talking out of my ass here.

    • rdillon99 - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      I’ve been there, and I suspect you’re right.

      • aphillieated - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        There’s no speed limit in the DR. Awesome!

    • mikhelb - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      It is a good amount to live there for a few months, maybe a year or two. Even if hispanoamerican countries are viewed as overall being “poor”, lots of things still cost as much as in the US, not the essential though, just commodities.

      I think MLB does that because they can’t implement a salary cap without the MLBPA yelling at them and threaten with work stoppage (¿stopagge?).

  3. gloccamorra - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Every time a small market team finds a cheap way to build, a few big market teams move in, and MLB sets limits that ruin it for everybody. Small market teams don’t want a level playing field, they want a development advantage to neutralize the big money clubs.

    Even the three years of pre-arbitration and three of arbitration has changed with super-twos and outrageous 5th and 6th year arbitration amounts. A club gets to develop a player and then only 3-4 years of reasonable salaries and has to trade ‘em away when they reach their prime.

  4. sportsfan18 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Why can’t teams go after and build their teams the way they want to? It’s THEIR money.

    I mean teams like the Yankees can go after free agents and pay gobs and gobs of money for players for all of these yrs and yet the smaller market teams can’t choose to spend $50K of their own money on a prospect?

  5. billybawl - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    This is part of the CBA, previously agreed to and taking effect now.

  6. andreweac - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    The next commissioner needs to be far more visionary and to think long-term.

    Reducing incentives for kids to play baseball internationally is not sound judgment. Soccer rejoices.

  7. tjwilliams - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    “What the point of all of that is is beyond me”

    The only way to take money away from the players without riling the union is to take the money away from players who aren’t players yet. Just look at what the NFL did to its Draft slots.

  8. tcostant - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Your really missing the point. When the Yankees say that guys like Rivera and Jorge Posada are “home grown” guys when they just throw a bunch of money at at a bunch of international free agents hoping a few stick.

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