Part of the underbelly of what is perceived inactivity by the Dodgers front office at the major league level over the last six months has been their overly busy nature on the international market. There have been a few more reported signings in recent days, plus potential interest in a few others.
The Dodgers signed 17-year-old Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Emmanuel Marcano, per Luis Acosta of Compendio Deportivo. The 6'2 Marcano reportedly has a 91-mph fastball to go along with a changeup and curve.
The club has also signed 16-year-old Colombian catcher Juan Camilo Zabala, per El Meridiano. According to the report, Zabala will report to the Dodgers' facility in the Dominican Republic in mid-January.
It is unknown what sort of bonuses these two players received, but none were listed on any sort of top international prospect rankings by either Baseball American or MLB.com.
A little higher up the scale is right-handed pitcher Carlos Sierra from Cuba. He left Cuba legally and was granted citizenship in Spain.
#Dodgers were 1 of 8 teams at Saturday showcase for 21-year-old free agent Cuban RHP Carlos Sierra, who is subject to int'l spending limits.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) December 22, 2015
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com wrote about Sierra, now 21, in April:
In addition to his fastball -- thrown at three different angles -- Sierra also throws a slider, a curve, and a circle-change. He played three seasons for Sancti Spíritus in Cuba's Serie Nacional and for the island's 16-and-under and 18-and-under national teams.
Sierra, like Zabala and Marcano, don't have the requisite five years of professional experience and are under 23 years old, and are thus subject to international spending limits.
The Dodgers have already blown past those limits, and each additional amateur signing with a bonus over $10,000 will be subject to a 100-percent tax. So far, the Dodgers to date have spent at least $44 million in bonuses, with a total outlay over $88 million.
The current signing period lasts until June 15, 2016, during which the Dodgers can continue to spend with said 100-percent penalty. Under the current rules of the collective bargaining agreement — an agreement that expires on Dec. 1, 2016 — the Dodgers will be limited in the next two international signing periods, which run from July 2, 2016 to June 15, 2018, unable during that time to sign any international amateur to a bonus over $300,000.