When it comes to advancing your organization as a whole, doing so through scouting outside of the country is a big piece of it. Signing players like Oswaldo Arcia and Miguel Sano draw on funds from a Major League Baseball allocated International Bonus Pool. Recently, the totals for the upcoming 2015-16 period were released. The Twins find themselves with the 5th highest amount.
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To fully explain the International Bonus structures in a concise matter, it may be best to defer to Baseball America. In releasing the amount scheduled to be distributed to each team this season, they broke down the process rather flawlessly.
"The bonus pools are determined based on reverse order of winning percentage from the 2014 major league season, which means the Diamondbacks have the largest bonus pool, while the Angels have the smallest. However, the Diamondbacks will be unable to sign any pool-eligible player for more than $300,000 during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 signing periods as a penalty for going more than 15 percent over their current 2014-15 pool."
So while dollars are allocated and there is a specific breakdown, there are also consequences that factor into signing players as well. For the Twins, they are able to use all of the $3,948,500 that they have been allotted. The signing pool applies to players not eligible for the June Major League Baseball amateur draft. Typically players come from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, however the Twins have gotten creative in recent years. Max Kepler was signed out of Germany while Lewis Thorpe was brought to the Twins organization by way of Australia.
Cuban players are also subject to the International Signing Pool, but there specifications are a bit different. They are exempt from the bonus pool if they are at least 23 years of age and have played at least five seasons in Serie Nacional. This would mean that players like Yoan Lopez and Yoan Moncada would go against their respective teams bonus pools.
Look for the Twins to once again be on the lookout for international talent to supplement their already impressive farm system. To see the full amounts awarded to each team in Major League Baseball, check out the breakdown here.
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