The 2014-15 international signing period, a widely expanding portal for MLB teams to replenish their farm systems with young talent, will officially begin on Wednesday.
Once the door opens, expect numerous international prospects to quickly ink agreements with MLB franchises, many of which will not be frugal with their bonus pool allotment. Although each team is assigned a certain spending amount, a few teams will steamroll the mark and accept the penalties.
Last year, the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers opened their wallets. Expect the same this year from the American League East, where some top spenders will look to strike big on young ballplayers mostly hailing from Latin America.
While U.S. prospects entering though the amateur draft must at least complete high school, the rules are looser outside of the country, allowing clubs to sign foreign 16-year-olds and patiently cultivate them in the minors.
Verbal agreements are reportedly in place, but nothing is certain until teams can make them official starting July 2. Let's take a look at the buzz brewing while waiting for the international signing period to commence.