NEW YORK — A record $203 million was spent on international amateur free agents in the just-ended signing period, nearly $50 million more than the previous high and a figure that will plummet when a hard cap on spending starts July 2.

Four Cubans were given contracts that included signing bonuses above $5 million. Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert led the way at $26 million, followed by San Diego pitcher Adrian Morejon at $11 million, and Cincinnati shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and Padres outfielder Jorge Ona at $7 million each.

Baseball’s new labour contract imposes a cap on bonuses for international amateurs, with 16 teams limited in 2017-18 to $4.75 million, six to $5.25 million and eight to $5.75 million — all not counting bonuses of up to $10,000.

“The party’s over for all big signing bonuses for international amateurs. It’s no doubt,” agent Andy Mota said Monday. “It’s a reality that’s setting in, especially with Cuban players.”

And under the new rules, international amateurs were redefined as under 25 years old and with less than six years of professional experience, up from 23 years old …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

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