Texas Rangers rumors: Kiley McDaniel's latest piece on the international free agent market, with the next group of players being eligible to sign beginning on July 2 (which is why each year is referred to as a "J-2" class), includes some info on the Rangers.
According to McDaniel, the Rangers are believed to have a deal with outfielder Leodys Taveras for a bonus of $3 million, which would be one of the bigger bonuses handed out this summer in the J-2 market. In addition, McDaniel says the Rangers "allegedly" have a deal for $1.2 million with Jonathan Sierra, a lefty powerhitting right fielder, and a $340,000 deal with middle infielder Cristian Inoa.
The Rangers' bonus pool is $4,586,600, which means that they can spend up to that amount without penalty. You can do the math and see that the bonuses for Sierra, Taveras and Inoa add up to $4.54M, which means that the Rangers would be right at their cap.
If the Rangers decided they wanted to spend more money than allotted under the pool, they have a couple of choices. First, they could trade for other team's international bonus spending slots -- teams are allowed to acquire additional pool money up to 50% of their original bonus pool, which means the Rangers could trade for the ability to spend up to another $2.3M (roughly) without penalty. Alternatively, the Rangers could simply decide to go over the limit (as they did in the 2013-14 J-2 class that included Marcos Diplan, Yeyson Yrizarri, Michael De Leon and Jose Almonte), which would result in the team paying a 100% penalty on any overage, and not being able to sign a J-2 player for more than a $300K bonus for the following two J-2 classes.
While some believe the Rangers are prepared to bust their limit this summer, the new rules that provide for a team to sit out the next two classes might prompt the Rangers to be patient. Several big-budget teams -- including the Red Sox and Yankees -- went over this year, and thus will have to largely sit out the next two classes, and more teams are expected to go over this year. If Texas stays under the cap, they could find themselves in a position in 2016 where they have much less competition for the top J-2 players in that class.