8/28/2014 6:48 P.M. ET
Mariners lock up Dominican prospect Torres
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
The Mariners signed Dominican teenage shortstop Christopher Torres to a contract with a signing bonus worth $375,000, according to an industry source.
Torres, ranked No. 18 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, joins a group of signees that includes outfielder Brayan Hernandez (ranked No. 8), Dominican catcher Ismerlin Mota and 11 other international prospects in Seattle's system since the signing period began on July 2.
Hernandez signed for $1.85 million and Mota signed a $295,000 deal, respectively.
The club did not confirm all of the signings.
Torres is a switch-hitting shortstop who might be a better left-handed hitter overall, but he has shown more power when he bats right-handed. When healthy, he can drive the ball to the opposite field and has shown plate discipline.
Praised for his defense, Torres is believed to have the potential for a plus arm. However, he was slowed by an arm injury during the summer. Torres is also an above-average runner with the potential to become a basestealer.
Torres played in his country's RBI League, Major League Baseball's Prospect League and the International Prospect League in the Dominican Republic. Orlando Mazara, who trained Torres, claimed his player had an oral agreement with Yankees for more than $2 million, but the club has repeatedly denied a deal was in place. In all, the Yanks signed 27 international prospects, including several players on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, since the international period began.
Mazara also claimed to have received an initial offer of $1.6 million from the Mariners.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2013 for the international signing period, which started on July 2.
Seattle's bonus pool total for this year's signing period is $3,440,700. Including Torres, the club has spent an estimated $3.55 million during the signing period, which puts them in the penalty.
Teams that exceed the pools by up to 5 percent have to pay a 100 percent tax, and teams that exceed the pools by 5 to 10 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period, and they must pay a 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Teams that exceed the pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100 percent tax on the pool overage.
In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed the pool by more than 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, in addition to paying a 100 percent tax on the pool overage.