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2013 International Signing Period

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by DoitDickau, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    If this were 2003 and they astros could funnel IFA money into a competitive major league roster or into the draft, i'd agree. But, under the new CBA, teams are severely restricted in how they can acquire amateur talent. The astros can't redirect IFA pool money into the draft and they have no need to redirect money into the major league team. Nor should they have to. The astros have a ~20 million dollar major league payroll and are in the midst of a historic rebuild. They don't need to skimp on amateur talent acquisition to fund other moves; they should have that flexibility already.

    Of course, no one would advocate throwing money away at complete non-prospects, but legitimate prospects are out there in the IFA market and, with the Astros' monetary advantage, they should have no problem finding ways to invest their pool money. It's an artificial market with signing bonuses going at well below market rates. There is extreme risk involved with all of these IFAs, but risk is not necessarily a bad thing as the payoff for these players can be tremendous. If one of these players hit, the team has them for 6 years at well below market salaries. A Bobby Abreu-type player is going to be worth 10s of millions of dollars in surplus value over the course of his cost controlled years. So a 2+ million dollar player like Ovando only has to pan out around 10% of the time for it to be a profitable investment. An investment in a 500k prospect needs only a fraction of that to be worthwhile; same for 20k flyer. Take a look around at major league rosters and you can quickly see that the investment is worth it.

    The biggest point though is that the Astros, through the last few painful years, have a unique opportunity under the CBA to beat other teams in acquiring the best amateur talent in the draft and IFA. If the Astros don't fully take advantage of this opportunity--whether its by trading pool space for prospects, signing a few top rated ifa prospects to 7-figure bonuses, or by spreading the pool around to sign a bunch of mid-range prospects-- then it's inexcusable given the historic rebuild they've asked us to endure. From Lunhow's comments earlier in the year, I expect they'll use their full pool throughout the next 11 months to acquire a range of mid-priced IFAs.
     
    #61 DoitDickau, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  2. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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  3. Nippystix

    Nippystix Member

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    I see what you're saying, and after all the big splash signing yesterday by other teams, I too feel a little "disappointed." However, truth be told, I know next to nothing about any of these kids, even the #1 rated one. As others have mentioned though, Luhnow and company gave Oscar Taveras a very small signing bonus, and he's among the top prospects around.

    Obviously this front office puts a lot more emphasis on "value". They won't throw $2m around just because they have it. They won't buy $1.5m lottery tickets. There is definitely a method to their madness, and if they feel a prospect signed to a "modest" $100k bonus can yield them the same return as the big splash kids, then I have no reason to doubt them. Surely they will miss more than they hit, but the key is to hit more than the other teams. They have tons more scouting information on them and analyses and numbers they've run to help them come to that more informed decision than my guesses.

    I do agree that it is almost a necessity to take full advantage of having the largest money pool. Hopefully at the end of the year we won't leave any money on the table.
     
  4. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    If the rumors on Franco and Amador are also true, then this shouldn't be happening:

    [​IMG]

    A link to a Dominican website in post #53 notes that Wander Franco will apparently sign for around $575,000, and Wilson Amador will apparently sign for around $900,000.


    Also, before people go off the deep end wondering why the Astros didn't sign Eloy Jimenez:

    [​IMG]

    I have two names for you to remember: Angel Villalona, and Rafael Rodriguez.

    Villalona was once the Giants' top prospect before his career was almost ruined, as he was charged with murder in the Dominican Republic. He's just now getting himself back on track. He received $2.1 million in 2006.

    Rodriguez fetched a $2.55 million bonus in 2009. He has yet to advance past low Class A in 4 seasons. He was the #30 prospect in the Giants system entering the 2012 season, and he has been compared to Dave Winfield. Uh huh.
     
  5. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    I agree. I'm not knowledgeable enough to say they should use their pool in particular way, just that it is a big opportunity and they should take full advantage of their allotment.
     
  6. TimPoopura

    TimPoopura Member

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    Really don't understand why Jose Herrera would turn down more money to sign with the D'Backs. Who's to blame there, Oz Ocampo?
     
  7. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Herrera was at the D-Backs' spring training complex and participated in an extended spring training game. I suppose the impression that Arizona made on him was enough to sway him.
     
  8. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    Does seem strange.

    Could he really just like them better, or think they offer better development programs? I mean, we have a very nice facility in the DR now, and it isn't like Phoenix has a huge Venezuelan population nor do they have facilities there.
     
  9. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    Who knows, could be innocuous, but i wouldn't be surprised if there is a decent amount of corruption at play. Teams could be circumventing the rules by paying players/agents under the table. Eloy Jimenez, the top prospect, reportedly also turned down more money to sign with the Cubs.
     
  10. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    The Astros have hired a GM that is very analytical in nature. The fact that the Astros appear to be out of the running for the top prospects makes me think that these guys are getting more than their expected return on investment. There is a finite number of international prospects and the Astros had about 3 million (I think this number may be lower when more salary numbers are known) left after all the top prospects the Astros were going for were gone.

    If the Astros can find enough prospects with a good return on investment to spend all their IFA pool money, yes they should spend it all. The way the Astros are behaving (i.e. not throwing down there IFA pool money on top prospects) makes me think the Astros don't value these guys at the same rate as some other clubs. I hope they spend all their money, but if they don't it means one of two things:
    1. These guys are worth it in their eyes (whether they are correct or not) and they just ran out of prospects that were good return on investment;
    2. The Astros don't have the money as Crane isn't in the same league as other owners especially after buying the Astros and not having a TV deal that covers most of Houston TVs.

    Also, money doesn't have to be spent this year. They can always save it for future free agency if that provides a better return on investment.
     
  11. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    Sure, but you can also cite players like miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez, Julio Tehran, Miguel Sano, etc., as top dollars signings that made good. Since these signing bonuses are artificially suppressed by the bonus pool, a player like Jimenez only has to succeed a fraction of the time for it to be worth it.

    However, there are multiple ways to skin a sheep, and perhaps ten 200k signings is a better investment than one 2 million dollar player. It seems like Lunhow believes that, at least with this year's crop.
     
  12. Nippystix

    Nippystix Member

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    Wait, is this correct? I thought teams had 1 year to spend it, and after that whatever money is left on the table can no longer be used. Did you mean that they don't have to spend it right now, and they have the whole year to sign international prospects? I'm not 100% myself, so I'm genuinely asking.
     
  13. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    If the astros can't find enough players to invest their money in then they've failed to properly plan. My guess is their strategy was to spread their money to sign a host of mid-range signees and save money for discounted signees later in the period. My guess is they missed out of a couple targets (like Herrera) but they'll still find way to invest the full amount of their allotment in the year ( the signing period runs until mid-June next year).

    Future free agency is almost never going to be as good an investment, all thing being equal, because you are paying full value on the dollar in free agency vs paying a fraction in the (not free) IFA market, where bonuses are limited.
     
  14. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    If DR report is accurate we have spent:

    $575K
    $900K
    $600K
    $245K

    2 unreported

    That is $2.32M.

    Certainly to be plenty of small signings, and Luhnow's comments seem to indicate they wanted to save some for a later date.
     
  15. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    No you can't roll it over to future
    IFA poll. Gotta spend it next
    June.
     
  16. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Sorry meant to say real dollars could be saved and spent in future for actual MLB players instead of taking risks on guys in IFA. Astros have a finite budget that most be used to spend on all the players in the minors, MLB players, draft picks, and IFA.

    Based on what Juicy said, Astros spent a lot more than I heard and will most likely spend what they have left or close to it.

    That still doesn't change the overall point that a team should not spend more on prospects than what their value is. The Astros IFA pool was set based on the possibility of a guy out there that could use up 3 million on one signing. Planning has nothing to do with whether there is a guy worth 3 million this year or not. It looks like Astros have found enough prospects to spread money around.

    The Astros trading away their 2nd and 3rd slots should tell you that Luhnow thinks he have enough to spend on IFA prospects. It isn't like they traded that slot money for a current top prospect so the value on IFA pool money doesn't seem to be too large outside the Cubs.
     
  17. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    Astros sign a pair of Australian catchers. Since they are under 50k signing they likely won't count against the team's signing pool.


    - Jake Bowey, C, Australia, $40,000 (Previously eligible 16 year old)

    - Hayden Timberlake, C, Australia, $30,000 (17 years old)

    http://sbb.scout.com/2/1305140.html
     
  18. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    They can sign up to 6 for under $50,000.
     
  19. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Also, if Hayden's middle name is Justin, then he will cease to be "Hayden Timberlake" to me.
     
  20. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Houston&amp;src=hash">#Houston</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Astros&amp;src=hash">#Astros</a> sign Dominican Republic 16-year-olds SS Frankeny Fernandez, OF Felix Lucas <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MLB&amp;src=hash">#MLB</a> <a href="http://t.co/vmQsgfcaPx">http://t.co/vmQsgfcaPx</a></p>&mdash; Brian T. Smith (@ChronAstros) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChronAstros/statuses/355735719626547200">July 12, 2013</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     

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