Biggest Winners and Losers from 2014 MLB International Free Agency

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Biggest Winners and Losers from 2014 MLB International Free Agency
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
The Boston Red Sox already have signed two of the premier pitching prospects in this year's international class.

Though the 2014-15 international signing period officially began only last Wednesday, a majority of the top prospects in this year's class have already signed or agreed to sign with a major league club.

While most teams played by the rules and stayed within their allotted bonus pools, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox opted to ignore spending limitations (at the cost of a future penalty) in order to sign many of the top-ranked prospects in this year’s class. 

Based on the quality of players they've signed thus far, it’s hard to criticize either team for having the means to exploit a loophole in the current collective bargaining agreement. At the same time, there also were plenty of teams that landed promising young players without exceeding their bonus pools.

Yet, while the Yankees and Red Sox have both enjoyed a rewarding start to the current international signing period, there are several teams that, for one reason or another, have made lackluster signings, while others that have been kept off the board entirely.

With that in mind, it simply isn’t fair to declare teams as either “winners” or “losers” less than one week into the signing period; remember, we’re talking about 15- and 16-year-old kids who have minimal experience and will need numerous seasons to develop in the minor leagues, if they’re even so lucky to reach a stateside level. However, that doesn’t mean teams’ international strategies aren’t worth analyzing.

Here are the early “winners” and “losers” of the 2014-15 international signing period, with an emphasis on clubs that have fared well over the last week.

 

*All bonus pool and signing information is courtesy of either Ben Badler of Baseball AmericaJesse Sanchez of MLB.com or MLB Trade Rumors.
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