The Dodgers continued to sign international talent, as they on, Aug. 26, inked Cuban outfielder Yadir Drake and Italian teenager Federico Giordani.
Drake, 24, was signed by scouts Mike Tosar, Patrick Guerrero and Franklin Taveras. Guerrero was brought in from Seattle by International Scouting Director Bob Engle. Engle, along with Marco Mazzieri (Italian senior national team head coach), inked 16-year-old Giordani.
I couldn’t find any information on Drake, other than a tweet of someone saying he’s the “Dodgers new Yasiel.” Seeing as almost no one has ever even heard of him, I wouldn’t hold my breath that he’s the next Yasiel Puig. Whatever he signed for shouldn’t go against the Dodgers’ international signing pool since he’s 24 years old.
Yadir Drake the Dodgers new Yasiel pic.twitter.com/rTkJc64R5p
— El Salvatoré (@itsmeSallyJ) August 26, 2014
Giordani is interesting. Scouts are always on the lookout for the next baseball hotbed, and Europe just might be that place. The Dodgers signed another Federico — Federico Celli — in April. He played in 19 games with the AZL Dodgers and, despite being 19, put up some decent numbers: .343/.439/.400 in 41 plate appearances.
Giordani looks pretty put together for a 16-year-old, and whatever he signs for (if it’s more than $10,000) will count against the Dodgers’ international signing pool.
Here’s a video of him hitting a grand slam.
Listed as a center fielder, it’ll be interesting to see what the Dodgers do with his development — and if Italy is the next place baseball scouts hit hard. The Dodgers also brought in the first Italian player (that is, developed in Italy, not necessarily just of Italian decent) in Alex Liddi — former Mariner. Engle’s impact on the international system is evident, as is the reverence for his former signees.
Here’s a reminder on how the international signing period works.
The international signing period, known as the July 2 period, is the time when teams can sign international prospects not subject to the MLB Draft. Like the draft, there are signing restrictions. There are bonus allotments teams cannot exceed without penalties.
The period runs from July 2 through June 15. The Dodgers have $1,963,800 to spend on bonuses for international prospects. They can acquire more slot money in trades, as they did last year in trades with the Cubs and Marlins. But they cannot acquire more than 50 percent of their original bonus allotment, or $981,900. There probably isn’t that much extra bonus space available in trade anyway. They were able to land $406,700 last year.
Here’s how it works, via the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
|Overage (percentage)||Penalty (taxed amount)|
|0-4.99||75 percent tax ($73,641.75)|
|5-9.99||75 percent tax ($147,284.25)
One bonus of more than $500,000
|10-14.99||100 percent tax ($294,569)
No bonuses more than $500,000
|15-plus||100 percent tax ($294,570+)
No bonuses more than $250,000
And here’s where the Dodgers stand at present.
|Yadir Drake||unknown (won’t count)|
|Total||$1,332,500 (of $1,963,800)|
The Dodgers have already spent 67.8 percent of their bonus pool allotment. They can acquire more, but the amount couldn’t be applied to these deals. It’s only for future deals. They can go $97,993 over their allotted bonus pool without suffering any consequences (other than taxes). If so, then they have about $729,293 left to spend on July 2 prospects.
More updates to come as they become available.