The Dodgers made one last splash in the deep end of the international signing pool on Wednesday, before they will be confined to the relative shallow end for the next two years.
On the final day of the 2015-2016 international signing period, the Dodgers agreed to a reported $2 million bonus to sign Cuban outfielder Yordan Alvarez, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
The lefty-hitting, righty-throwing Alvarez is 6'4, 190 pounds and turns 19 on June 27. Sanchez described him as "an athletic contact hitter who has shown some power."
In two seasons with Las Tunas in Cuba's La Serie Nacional, Alvarez hit .279/.342/.327 in 74 games and 239 plate appearances. He hit .351/.402/.387 in 40 games in 2014-2015 at age 17. Alvarez played 71 games at first base with Las Tunas, and two games in left field.
"He has a simple lefthanded swing, drawing praise from scouts highest on him for his bat control and ability to manage the strike zone well for his age," Ben Badler wrote at Baseball America. "While Alvarez never showed much power in Cuba, he has since earned average to above-average raw power grades from scouts who have followed him at workouts."
After walking 10 walks with 24 strikeouts in 2013-2014, Alvarez walked eight times against only 10 strikeouts in 2014-2015.
"I consider myself a smart hitter, that does not go with bad pitches," said a leaflet from Alvarez's agents in April, per Jorge Ebro of Pelota Cubana (loosely translated). "I can fool like everyone, but not always much. Generally, I hope what suits me to make me swing. "
The signing of Alvarez gives the Dodgers six players signed during the 2015-2016 international signing period to a bonus of at least $2 million, including four players from Cuba. The Dodgers have committed over $92 million during this period, including at least $46.3 million in signing bonuses and another $45.7 million in penalties.
|Dodgers 2015-2016 international signing period (known bonuses)|
|RHP||Yadier Alvarez||19||Cuba||Mike Tosar, Patrick Guerrero, Bob Engle||$16,000,000|
|OF||Starling Heredia||16||Dominican Republic||Patrick Guerrero, Franklin Taveras Jr., Manelik Pimentel||$2,600,000|
|IF||Ronny Brito||16||Dominican Republic||Franklin Taveras Jr., Elvio Jimenez, Manelik Pimentel||$2,000,000|
|IF||Oneil Cruz||16||Dominican Republic||Patrick Guerrero, Franklin Taveras Jr., Bob Engle||$950,000|
|OF||Christopher Arias||16||Dominican Republic||Franklin Taveras Jr., Manelik Pimentel, Elvio Jimenez||$500,000|
||17||Dominican Republic||Patrick Guerrero, Bob Engle||$350,000|
|SS||Damaso Marte||17||Dominican Republic||$300,000|
|SS||Luis Rodriguez||16||Venezuela||Jose Briceno, Pedro Avila||$62,500|
|RHP||Ramon Rosso||19||Dominican Republic||Juan Garcia-Puig, Doug Skyles||$62,000|
|2B||Aldo Espinoza||16||Nicaragua||Nemesio Porras, Luis Molina||$50,000|
|Less: Bonus pool||$700,000|
|Overage (100% tax)
The Dodgers were charged a 100-percent overage tax because they were over 15 percent over their allotted bonus pool. In addition, they will be unable to sign any international amateurs to a bonus over $300,000 for the next two international signing periods, which run from July 2, 2016 to June 15, 2018.
The Dodgers' international bonus pool in the 2016-2017 period is $2,118,900 in total.