Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Drew Smyly criticized Major League Baseball's signing process for international free agents Monday after the Red Sox reportedly agreed to sign Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada to a $30 million contract.
"It's not right that a Cuban 19yr old gets paid 30m and the best 19yr old in the entire USA gets prob 1/6th of that," Smyly wrote. "Everyone should have to go through same process."
North American prospects are subject to MLB's amateur draft, where the league places restrictions on how much money can be given to draftees. Teams are forced to pay strict penalties for exceeding those amounts.
MLB also places restrictions on how much can be spent on amateur international free agents under the age of 23, such as Cuban and Dominican players. If a team exceeds its allotted international signing funds, it is taxed heavily and prohibited from signing players for more than $300,000 for the next two signing periods.
Mark Appel, the top pick in the 2013 draft, signed for $6.35 million, while Carlos Correa, 2012's first pick, signed for $4.8 million. By comparison, though they were over the age of 23, Dodgers outfield Yasiel Puig signed for $42 million in 2012, and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu signed for $68 million. Diamondbacks slugger Yasmany Tomas signed for $68.5 million and Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo signed for $72.5 million.
Smyly received a $1.1 million signing bonus when he was drafted by the Tigers in the second round of the 2010 draft.
- Dan Gartland