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Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com : Top 30 International Prospects 2015


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http://m.mlb.com/news/article/122308730/jhailyn-ortiz-vladimir-guerrero-jr-lead-mlb-pipelines-2015-top-international-prospects-list

International signing rules

These are the rules for signing prospects like Ortiz: An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of next year if he is 17 or will turn 17 by the end of the first season of his contract.

Additionally, any prospect that is already 17 or older and has not previously signed a Major or Minor League contract, resides outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico within the previous year is eligible to sign during the period.

Each team is allotted a base of $700,000 and a bonus pool made up of four slot values based on the team's record for the previous year to spend on these prospects. Including the base, the money allotted to spend ranges from $5,393,900 for the D-backs, who had the Majors' lowest winning percentage last year, to $1,968,600 for the Angels, who had the highest winning percentage.

Additionally, clubs are again allowed to trade pool money. Bonuses of $10,000 or less are exempt and do not count against the allotment.

Teams that exceed the pools by 0 to 5 percent have to pay 100 percent tax, and teams that exceed the pools by 5 to 10 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period and also have to pay a 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Teams that exceed the pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100 percent tax on the pool overage.

In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed the pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, in addition to paying a 100 percent tax on the pool overage.

The D-backs, Angels, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees exceeded the 2014-15 pool by at least 15 percent, and they will also be unable to sign any pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.

The international signing guidelines do not apply to players who previously signed a contract with a Major or Minor League club, nor do they apply to players who are least 23 years old and have played as a professional in a league recognized by the Commissioner's Office for a minimum of five seasons. Cuban players who are at least 23 and have played in a Cuban professional league for five or more seasons are also exempt.

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