Perhaps the most defining characteristic of the Dick Williams administration is all the cash-splashing for amateur talent. The latest example is the signing of 19-year-old Cuban infielder Jose Israel Garcia. Ben Badler at Baseball America says he will get a signing bonus around $5 mil. Check the link for scouting information.
The Reds have obliterated their bonus pool ceiling, which means they will pay a 100% tax on the money given to Garcia, putting the total cash outlay around $10 mil. I can’t recall just how much they have spent during this international signing period, but it well exceeds $40 mil now. I think. It’s a lot.
Doug’s take differs a bit from Badler’s, so be sure to check him out, too. His sources paint a picture that is a bit more bullish on the kid than do Badler’s.
I am completely on board with this approach to team building. The Reds have culled tens of millions of dollars from the major-league payroll and have redirected it to these kinds of amateur signings, investments in analytics, and advancements in organizational nutrition. It’s a bold departure from times gone by, and though we have yet to see it bear fruit in a direct Reds-win-the-World-Series kinda way, it has certainly turned around a farm system that was considered pretty thin just a few years ago.