Yet another benefit of Latin American ballplayers being exempt from the Rule IV Draft: It’s open bidding season! No worries about some team drafting the guy you want ahead of you. No pesky “slotting” recommendations. Just straight cash, homie.
Multiple international scouts have told Baseball America in the past week that Inoa will shatter all bonus records for the international signing period by signing a contract worth at least $4 million, with numbers in the $4.2 to $4.5 million range being floated.
“He’s a once-in-a-decade type pitcher,” said one international scout.
Scouts say the Yankees have also been heavily pursuing Inoa, who hails from Puerto Plata, but with one week until Inoa can officially sign, the Athletics appear to be the favorite for his services. Athletics general manager Billy Beane and other top talent evaluators from the organization had been in the Dominican Republic to watch Inoa earlier in the year, and Beane was reportedly back in the Dominican again in recent weeks.
How the Yanks could get out-bid by a relatively measley $1 million (give or take) is beyond me. This is the one area that the Yanks should absolutely exert their financial muscle. The cost of not winning the “auction” far outweighs the incremental costs. The way the Yanks write off bad decisions, what’s another $4-5 million if the kid absolutely flops? And if he develops like the scouts dream he can, you’ve got control of him for years and will save multiples of that signing fee.
Inoa’s fastball sits in the low-90s and has touched 94, which he complements with a curveball that generates generally positive reviews from scouts and a changeup. Aside from his present velocity, what stands out about Inoa is his size – at 6-foot-7, 205 pounds he projects to throw even harder – and his athleticism, which enables to repeat his fluid delivery.