Nats loading up on international shortstop prospects
Washington reaches terms with Nos. 7, 14 on Top 30 list, have line on No. 20
By Jesse Sanchez
The Nationals are loading up with top shortstops to kick off the first day of the international signing period.
According to industry sources, the club agreed to a $1.3 million deal with Luis Garcia, ranked No. 7 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list and a $3.9 million deal with Yasel Antuna, ranked No. 14.
The club is also expected to reach a deal with Jose Sanchez, ranked No. 20, for an estimated $950,000 when he becomes eligible to sign on July 12, his 16th birthday.
The club did not confirm the deals.
Scouts have praised Garcia's athleticism and they like his projectable body. In the batter's box, Garcia has gained a reputation for making good contact. He has shown decent footwork and good hands on defense. Antuna, a switch-hitter, has the potential to be a five-tool player and has very polished actions on offense and defense for his age. He has shown gap-to-gap power.
As for Sanchez, he has displayed good hands and fluid defensive actions. On offense, he has a chance to hit for average and show more power as his body matures.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool with four slot values based on the team's record in 2015 for the international signing period that started Saturday. Washington's overall pool total for this year's signing period is $2,335,000, which means the signings will put it into the penalty.
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.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.