The international signing period began a week ago, but the top international prospect has yet to sign with anybody.
Twenty-year-old Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez, who is believed to be the top international prospect, has been linked to many team’s including the Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Dodgers along with the San Francisco Giants are the favorites to sign Martinez:
The Dodgers and Giants, the two teams that went head to head for outfielder Lucius Fox, ranked No. 3 on the international list, have each scheduled more private workouts for Martinez this week, and Los Angeles and San Francisco appear to be the front-runners. Fox signed with the Giants for $6 million on July 2 after being linked to the Dodgers for months.
The Cubs, White Sox, Rangers and Astros have each worked out Martinez privately at least twice.
Martinez could sign for at least a $10 million bonus, and his contract will send the team that signs him into the maximum penalty under the international signing guidelines. That is not necessarily a problem for the Dodgers, as the flurry of international prospects they have already signed in the past week has already put them in the maximum penalty, which is a 100-percent tax on the bonus pool overage and the inability to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.
With the success of recent international prospects like Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu (among others) the Dodgers are hoping that Martinez, or one of their other recent international signees can reach that caliber.