Posted by Christopher Soto at 2:00 PM
Later this January Cuban defectors OF Dariel Alvarez and SS Aledmys Diaz will showcase their skills for MLB teams. Among the confirmed teams looking to attend the session are the St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Twins although both have a higher preference for Diaz. Which leads me into the discussion of whether or not the New York Mets should pursue Dariel.
New CBA rules
First some background on the recently signed Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the new CBA teams spending on international signings are now subject to the some harsh penalties. Effective last year, every team alotted $2.9 million to spend in international bonus money. Teams that exceed this hard limit by up to 5% are are subject to a 75% tax on the additional money spend.
If they exceed the limit by 5-10%, they pay the 75% tax and lose the right to provide more than one player with a bonus worth more than $500K in the next signing period. If they exceed the limit by 10-15%, they face a 100% tax and are prevented from signing any player for $500K or more in the next signing period. If teams exceed the limit by 15% or more, they face a 100% tax and lose the right to spend $250K on any player in the next signing period.
(Effective this off-season teams spending limits will range anywhere from $1.8MM to $5.0MM depending on prior year record.)
Only players under 23 years old with less than 3 years of professional experience are considered amateurs and will count against international spending limits so because of this neither Alvarez, 24 yrs old, or Diaz, 23 yrs old, will be subject to this spending limits.
While it is unknown what kind of contract Alvarez is seeking but it cannot be without reason that perhaps he will seek less then what Yeonis Cespedas asked for which was 4 yr/$36MM. At my prediction of 4 yr/$20MM, from a cost perspective this is not a very good deal for an OF that will need time in the minors before coming to the MLB. Not many teams have been reported to be "IN" on Alvarez however an perhaps he can be had for cheaper.
Boy the Mets need OF'ers in the worst way right now, both in the majors and in the minors. Cesar Puello's and Cory Vaughn's injuries have slowed their development poorly and Den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenheis the team's two highest level OF prospects are both heavy K guys. Alvarez would bring a very patient hitting approach to a system that is lacking in the upper levels right. But if your hoping that Alvarez can step onto Citi Field right away then your sadly mistaken.