The Yankees have signed international free agent Leonardo Molina on his 16th birthday. The Dominican outfielder was had for a $1.4 million bonus and was ranked by Baseball America and Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com as the fifth best international free agent this class.
Ben Badler of BA has said that he has better raw tools than No. 1 international prospect Eloy Jimenez, who was signed by the Cubs, and has plus-plus speed and a strong arm. Sanchez believes he is the best overall athlete of the 2013 class and has the potential to become a five-tool center fielder. Both agree that his hitting abilities lag behind his defensive skills at this point, but the potential is there. One scout said he was Bernie Williams with a better arm.
The Yankees had $1.8779 million to spend on the 2013 international class and this signing, along with their signing of Dominican shortstop Yonauris Rodriguez for $575,000 puts them at a 5% overage on their international pool allowances and I'll let Michael Eder from It's About the Money explain it from here:
They'll have to pay a 75% tax on this overage, and if they want to sign anyone else significant, they'll have to trade for a slot. Of course, if they love this international class, they could just go ahead and sign everyone, pay a 100% tax, and be severely constricted by a $250,000 maximum bonus next season. By nailing the 5% overage, it seems that the Yankees are probably done spending.
More from Pinstriped Bible:
- MLB Trade Deadline 2013: The Yankees' terrible timing
- Yankees Injury Updates: Rodriguez, Granderson, Cervelli, Youkilis
- MLB Trade Deadline 2013: Yankees quiet as time runs out
- Biogenesis: MLB seeks lifetime ban for Alex Rodriguez
- Jonathan Mayo's mid-season prospect list: Sanchez, Williams, and Austin rank in top 100