The Houston Astros were penalized for the sign stealing scandal the last two drafts, while also moving a pick back in 2021 due to the ball club exceeding the competitive balance tax in 2020. Now, they have turned their heads mightily to international free agency to reel in top talent that has gone underreported.
More recently on Sept. 10, the Astros signed Yanquiel Sanchez to a $10,000 signing bonus, as the left-handed hurler was assigned to the DSL Astros. The 20-year-old is the most recent signing in the 2021 International signing period. While a signing bonus was never reported, Sanchez contributes to the long list of Cuban talent that the Astros have invested in (16, leads MLB).
The Astros are a few months away from the next international signing period opening, as these are their locks to be signed.
Houston’s international signing bonus slot has an initial base of $5,179,700, while signing bonus slots were not permitted to be traded in 2021. As of now, the ball club is set to sign these players to these bonuses:
- RHP Carlos Espinosa: $450K
- SS Alberto Hernandez: $1 million
- OF Kenni Gomez: $650-900K (MLB Pipeline)
- OF Luis Baez: $1.25 million
This puts the total money spent in the range of $3.35 million – $3.6 million.
The Astros have more disposable pool money to spend on international free agents, as the organization is in communication with infielder Cesar Prieto and catcher Maikel Minoso. Every year, more players will sign with organizations that were unreported about in talks with the team, so there will likely be more than just six prospects signed.
The Astros took a series from the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, 3-1. They will travel to Arlington to open a four-game road trip against the Texas Rangers on Monday at 7:05 p.m. with Jake Odorizzi matching up against right-hander Spencer Howard.