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By spreading their bonus pool, Red Sox take balanced approach to international market – The Athletic

As the Red Sox were preparing to spend millions of dollars on international free agents last week, their Venezuelan area scout Alex Requena kept insisting they reserve a few thousand bucks for a young shortstop who wasn’t getting much attention elsewhere. His name was Marvin Alcantara, and Requena loved his confidence at the plate. The kid consistently made good, hard contact. He was an average runner and had enough defensive ability to play shortstop, or at worst move to second base. Requena was sold on Alcantara as a player the Red Sox should sign.

“Just pounding the table for him,” assistant general manager Eddie Romero said. “He’s one of these guys that the crosscheck group really didn’t get to see much, but he made it to signing day and our area scout was just like, ‘You need to sign this guy!’”

So, they did. The reported bonus was a relatively modest $30,000, less than 3 percent of what the top players in the class received, but five years from now, Alcantara may very well be the best of the bunch. That’s the nature of the international amateur market.

“The signing class isn’t made on January 15 (when the market opens),” Romero said. “The signing class is really made throughout the year when you have some more of these flexible signings. … We hammer the passed over and the (overlooked players) just as much as we do trying to make sure we’re on top of the premium, priority players in each class.”

International amateurs are eligible to sign as young as 16 years old, and most have been scouted since they were much younger.

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