BOSTON — The Angels are about to dive back into the international talent market.
The international signing period begins on July 2, and the Angels can once again compete for the best players, now that they will be free of the Roberto Baldoquin shackles and operating under a new system.
Because the Angels exceeded their bonus pool to sign the Cuban shortstop in January 2015, they were precluded from spending more than $300,000 for any international amateurs for two years. That took them out of the running for the top players.
That penalty expires with the start of this signing period, which also marks the opening of a system with rules changed by the new collective bargaining agreement.
Now, teams all have a hard cap on their spending, in most cases $4.75 million.
“Our intention is to spend the entire allotment,” General Manager Billy Eppler said. “If the players are there, great. If they evaporate, we’ll have time to find others.”
The new system means there will be no more deals like Baldoquin’s $8 million bonus or Yoan Moncada’s $31 million bonus. Overspending and accepting a penalty will no longer be an option.
It’s allowed the Angels to get back on an even playing field with the top spenders, and actually to be ahead of 11 teams that are still under restrictions from the old system.
“We’ve been able to cast a wider net and look at a different caliber of player,” Eppler said, comparing it to the process leading up to last year’s signing period. “We’ve been able to grab a touch more polish or more impactful tools. Those have been the players we’ve been looking at. Hopefully, they’re there.”
ADDING AN ARM
The Angels called up reliever Eduardo Paredes and sent down C.J. Cron, going with an eight-man bullpen because the pitchers have thrown so much lately.
“At this point we definitely need another arm up here,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “It serves a purpose to get C.J. some at-bats again and see where he is. But right…