Since the switch from McCourt to the Guggenheim Group, the team has gone back to its past ways of scouting and developing international talent. Last season, the Dodgers saw the early benefits of their spending when Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig emerged onto the baseball scene and gave the team a boost of energy that helped them turn the season around.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, more of the same may occur in the near future as the Dodgers were near the top of international spenders in 2013:
1 Rangers $8.42 million 2 Cubs $8.22 million 3 Dodgers $4.48 million
The near $4.5 million spent didn’t include Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero because he’s over the age of 23 and spent at least three seasons in a foreign league. Money spent came in 2013 but was in two separate signing periods. The 2012-2013 signing period ran until July, while the 2013-2014 signing period ran after that. In the 2012-2013 signing period, all teams were allowed a $2.9 million bonus pool to sign international talent.
Teams can exceed that figure but are subject to tougher taxes and limits on the next signing period. Also, teams are allowed to sign up to six players with a bonus of $50,000 or less and not be counted against the bonus pool, as well as any players signed to a bonus $10,000 or less.
In 2011, the Dodgers spent just $177,000 on international talent, ranking last in the major leagues. Beginning in the 2013-2014 signing period, the team are tiered depending on the previous season’s record and given a figure for their bonus pool based on that record. This means that the Dodgers will receive a smaller bonus pool in the 2014-2015 signing period because of their success last season.
Last July, the Dodgers signed Venezuelan prospects Alvaro Trillo and Daniel Padilla for $200,000 along with Dominican shortstop Lucas Tirado for $1 million. Meanwhile, in January, the Dodgers signed five international prospects from Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the Netherlands.
With all the money spent, the team should be seeing their farm system become flooded with talent that’ll continue to feed the Dodgers at the big league level.
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