The Dodgers have made one notable signing on the first day of the 2016-2017 international signing period, reportedly signing Dominican shortstop Albert Suarez.
Suarez gets a bonus of $300,000, per Baseball America, which is the largest international amateur bonus the Dodgers can give for two years. He was predicted earlier this week to be signed by the Dodgers by Ben Badler at Baseball America, who called Suarez "a left-handed hitter who stands out more for his baseball tools than his raw skills."
The Dodgers blew past their bonus pool limits in the 2015-2016 period, spending at least $45 million on bonuses, which incurred another $45 million on overage penalties plus the restriction for the next two international signing periods, ending on June 15, 2018.
The team's bonus pool for the 2016-2017 period is $2,118,900. The bonus pools in MLB are determined just like the draft, with four rounds worth of slots in inverse order of the previous season's record, added to a base of $700,000 for every team. The difference is these bonus slots can be traded, which the Dodgers did last year and received pitchers Caleb Dirks and Chase De Jong, outfielder Jordan Paroubeck and infielder Tim Locastro in trades with Atlanta and Toronto.
Every bonus over $10,000 counts toward the international bonus pool.
It seems unlikely that the Dodgers will trade any slots this time around, if only to not incur even more limitations for future signing periods.
Teams can go up to five percent over their bonus pool and incur a penalty of only money, a 100-percent tax on the overage amount. But from 5-9.99 percent over, teams incur the overage tax plus the inability to sign anyone over $500,000 in the next period. From 10-14.99 percent over, teams can't sign a player for over $300,000 for the next period, and starting at 15 percent over, teams can't sign a player for over $300,000 for the next two periods, which is the current Dodgers penalty.
But should they incur any future penalties, they would be assessed in the next period in which the club has no penalties, which is the 2018-2019 period. It's doubtful the club wants to incur such penalties, especially when the reward is only comprised of players who signed for bonuses of $300,000 or less.