Rays Still Face Maximum Penalty After Acquiring International Slot Values

The Rays have acquired three international slot values from the Marlins, although they still face the maximum penalty for going more than 15 percent beyond their bonus pool.

The Marlins sent the Rays their No. 2 ($470,100), No. 3 ($317,500) and No. 4 ($213,200) international slot values (a total of $1,000,800) in exchange for righthander Matt Ramsey. The Rays started with a $1,998,100 bonus pool, and since teams can only acquire up to an additional 50 percent of their original pool, their new pool is $2,982,150, rather than the full $2,998,900, although that’s a negligible difference.

After the Rays made that trade Monday, they then officially signed 16-year-old Dominican shortstop Adrian Rondon, the No. 1 international prospect for July 2, for $2.95 million. Once a team spends its entire bonus pool allotment, it can no longer trade for more slot values, so the trade with the Marlins had to be done before the Rondon signing.

Even with the trade, however, the Rays are still more than 15 percent beyond their new bonus pool, between the $2.95 million for Rondon, $400,000 for Dominican outfielder Jesus Sanchez and some smaller signings as well. That means the Rays will pay a 100 percent tax on their pool overage and won’t be able to sign a player for more than $300,000 in each of the next two signings periods of 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Essentially, the trade just eases the amount of tax the Rays will have to pay, saving them about $1 million, but the signing restrictions for the next two signing periods are still in place. That’s not uncharted territory for the Rays, who became the first team to face the max penalty when they went more than 15 percent beyond their pool in 2012-13, the inaugural year of international bonus pools, although the penalty at that time was not being able to sign anyone for more than $250,000 for only the next signing period.

The Yankees and Red Sox are also facing the maximum penalties for next year, while the Brewers are in the process of acquiring additional slot values to avoid the max penalty. For the Marlins, their international bonus pool drops from $4,622,400 to $3,621,600.