International free agents: Yankees believed to have six verbal deals in place with top prospects

Jim McIsaac

New York is expected to surpass their spending limit significantly.

Like the men in charge of structuring it, the July 2 international free agent market is still evolving.

The spending limits in place will keep some clubs from outbidding their more slightly funded competitors, but clubs with the capital to do so will simply ignore those league-imposed limitations and pay the subsequent tax penalties -- writing off as part of the cost of acquiring the top talent in Latin America.

The Yankees, for example, are believed to have six verbal deals in place with some of the top amateur players that will become eligible to sign contracts in July, according to ScoutingBaseball.com's Kiley McDaniel. One of those agreements is with Dermis Garcia, arguably the best player available in this year's group of talent.

New York is believed to have offered Garcia $3 million. Their spending "limit" for this summer's international free agency is about $2 million total. According to McDaniel, the Yankees could end up spending $15 million or more.

Garcia, a third baseman from the Domincan Repbulic, will become eligible to sign a major league deal on July 2 thanks to the rules in place that state players born outside the United States are first able to sign a contract on that date after their 16th birthday -- if that makes any sense. If not, read McDaniel's work at ScoutingBaseball.com.

New York is also expected to sign Dominican third baseman Nelson Gomez for $2.8 million, Dominican center fielder Juan De Leon for $2 million, Venezuelan outfielder Jonathan Amundaray for $1.5 million, Dominican shortstop Chris Torres for $1 million, and finally, Venezuelan shortstop Diego Castillo for $900,000.

They might end up spending even more than that, and they could finish the signing blitz with the best class by far -- at least on paper. The risk with these prospects -- 18 year olds are old -- is high. However, in comparison to the Rule 4 draft that will take place in June -- also known as the first-year player draft or just the draft -- teams can blow away their spending limits without being bothered by slotting and the disadvantage of having to wait for their turn to select players.

Several other clubs might surpass their budgets as well, but the Yankees plan to do basically the same thing they did last winter, only on a smaller scale -- sign everyone.

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