Two weeks ago, commissioner Rob Manfred announced the punishment for Atlanta following illicit efforts by former general manager John Coppolella to avoid exceeding bonus-pool limits in international free agency. At the center of that punishment: the dissolution of contracts for 12 players acquired by means that violated league policy.
Today, one of the more promising ex-Braves has signed with the Royals. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports:
Former Braves prospect Yefri del Rosario has found a new team. The RHP agreed to a $650K deal with the Royals. The pitcher was one of 12 prospects granted free agency after an MLB investigation determined Atlanta circumvented the international signing guidelines. @MLBPipeline
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) December 5, 2017
The signing by Kansas City of right-hander Yefri Del Rosario is notable for a couple reasons. One, because he represents the first of the former Atlanta prospects to sign with another team. And two, because Del Rosario’s deal might provide clues as to the bonuses likely to be received by the 11 other players in question.
Del Rosario signed with Atlanta originally for $1.0 million (money which he was permitted to keep). Now he’s received $665K from Kansas City. From this single data point, one might expect all the former ex-Braves to sign for roughly two-thirds their original bonus figures, placing Kevin Maitan’s expected bonus at roughly $2.8 million, for example.
That’s one way to think about it; however, it’s also possible that Del Rosario’s bonus will end up on the high end relative to the amount he received as an amateur. Consider the following from Eric Longenhagen, excerpted from a post featuring evaluations of all 12 players emancipated from the Atlanta system. The bold is mine.
A Dominican righty who might be the most sought-after name on this list, Del Rosario signed for $1 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2016. Physically projectable, athletic, and the owner of efficient arm action, Del Rosario sits in the mid-90s with a potential plus curveball. Scouts have projected heavily on the changeup and command due to Del Rosario’s athleticism. He started the year in the Dominican Summer League but was quickly promoted to the GCL, where he struck out 36 hitters in 37.1 innings.
While his original signing bonus was somewhat modest compared to those received by his peers, Del Rosario’s profile appears to have risen since his professional debut. It stands to reason that Kansas City’s outlay is reflective of an updated evaluation of Del Rosario. In other words, it might not be the greatest dollar amount received by one of the former Atlantans, but it’s likely to compare most favorably in the context of the original bonus figures.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.