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International signing period primer, 2015

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Welcome to another one of baseball's big days.

The International signing period starts on July 2 every year, and as this year's edition gets underway we already know that the Twins have signed shortstop Wandy Javier. The 16-year old from the Dominican Republic signed for a $4 million signing bonus. Byrz covered the initial rumors from March when word first leaked that a deal was allegedly in place.

Here's what a few of the experts have to say.

Ben Badler, Baseball America:

Javier, 16, has a wide range of skills and plus tools. At 6 feet, 170 pounds, Javier is an excellent athlete with plus speed and arm strength, good defense at shortstop and good power for the position, with the question mark on whether he will be able to make the adjustments at the plate with his righthanded bat for it all to click.

MLB.com:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60

Every team in the big leagues would like a player like Javier in their Minor League system. Javier has a good build for a shortstop, and he has the defensive actions that will allow him to stay at there .. Some scouts project that his body will force him to move from shortstop to third base ... He has plus raw power and plus arm strength, and he's shown the ability to hit in games. It's his hit tool that has some scouts thinking that Javier will be a middle-of-the-order type of player. ... evaluators want to see him display those talents more consistently. Other scouts believe he is the best all-around player in the class.

Kiley McDaniel:

Javier is the kind of player you typically see near the top of July 2nd bonus lists. He’s a 6’0, lanky shortstop with easy actions and an above average arm ... a 50 run time on the 20-80 scale, but he’s the type of kid who will probably gain a step in the next few years ... Javier flashes average raw power that may even be a tick better than that depending how his body develops and he flashes some ability to show that tool in games. ... widely believed to have a deal with the Twins for $4.0 million, which I believe would be the highest July 2nd bonus of all-time for a shortstop.

Baseball America, MLB.com, and Kiley McDaniel respectively rated Javier the 9th, 8th, and 5th-best international prospect available this year. With the sixth-largest bonus pool in baseball this year, $3,948,500, the Twins have gone over their budget by a mere 1%. What does that mean for the Twins?

Here are the consequences for teams that go over their spending allowance.

  • Going over bonus allocation incurs a 100% tax. Every dollar you spend over your limit becomes two.
  • Exceeding the budget by 5 to 10% means the team is not allowed to sign any individual player for more than $500,000 in the following international signing period.
  • Exceeding the budget by 10 to 15% means the team is not allowed to sign any individual player for more than $300,000 in the following international signing period.
  • Exceeding the budget by more than 15% means the team is not allowed to sign any individual player for more than $300,000 in the following two international signing periods.

Right now, all it means is that the Twins are paying an extra $51,500 for signing Javier. If the team spends another $145,925, they'll hit the 5% barrier. Spending $343,350 would push them to 10%. $540,775 would push them to a 15% overage.

In 2014 the Angels, Diamondbacks, Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees all exceeded their pools by at least 15%, meaning they won't be able to sign a player for more than $300,000 until the 2017 International signing period. Already this year, from the first day, the Dodgers, Giants, Blue Jays, Phillies, Royals, Braves, and Cubs have exceeded 15% (will change based on trading of slot values). If the Twins want to reign it in the rest of this year, it means that the Twins would be bidding against just 17 other clubs for the best international prospects next summer. The alternative, as is the case for the seven teams that have already gone over their pool this year, would be for the Twins to just go for broke this year and spend lavishly, knowing they'd be limited to $300,000 signing bonuses these next two years.

Personally, I like the idea of the Twins taking it easy from here on out. Jump into the fray next year, with the game's biggest spenders watching from the bench. Whatever happens, if the Twins make another big move we'll be sure to break it down for you.