Rays Sign Rafelin Guzman, Juan Santos | The Process Report

Rays Sign Rafelin Guzman, Juan Santos

Although July 2, the start of the international amateur free-agent signing period, lacks the same appeal as the draft for obvious reasons—namely, few people have seen these players play—it has become an important part of the talent acquisition process.

Because the Rays exceeded their spending cap by more than 15 percent last year, they were taxed 100 percent on the overage and entered this July 2 with a maximum amount they could spend on an individual player ($250,000). That meant, unlike last year, the Rays were not players for the to players on the market. Still, they’ve managed to add a few names who may one day make it to the Trop. So far the Rays have two reported signings: catcher Rafelin Guzman and shortstop Juan Santos. Both are 16-year-old Dominicans known for their strong arms. Baseball America has more details on both players, including a video on Guzman.

In order to sign Guzman and Santos the Rays have spent $490,000 of their roughly $1.98 million bonus pool. (For reference: Last year the Rays spent at least $3.7 million in international talent.) There are some built-in provisions that should allow the Rays to add more than another $1.49 million in talent, as players signed for $10,000 or less don’t count against the cap, and neither do an additional six players signed for less than $50,000 who the club designates. Alternatively, the Rays could trade for up to 50 percent of their cap from other teams if they so desired.

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