One year ago, the St. Louis Cardinals spent $2.63 million on international player signing bonuses, according to Baseball America. That placed the Cardinals 13th among their MLB peers.
A part of the new collective bargaining agreement that took effect this year was the establishment of a uniform spending cap for all 30 organizations. This should not seriously crimp the Cardinals' plans initially, as clubs are allowed to spend up to $2.9 million on international prospects between July 2, 2012 and July 1, 2013 without penalty.
In 2012 and 2013, teams are also able to sign at least six players for $50,000 or less and as many players as they want for $7,500 or less, with these signings not counting against the cap limit.
To date, the Cardinals have signed 10 players this period, with eight of them having completed the full approval process. They hail from four different countries, including baseball hotbeds of the Dominican Republic (five) and Venezuela (three) as well as one each from Nicaragua and Panama.
Signing bonuses for eight of the ten new Cardinals have been disclosed, with six of them likely being the most significant ones. Six players will receive a total of just over $1.6 million, over half the cap amount. It appears the Cardinals have flexibility remaining for additional signees.
Remember to click on each player's highlighted name to be taken to his exclusive player page. There you can see his biographical information as well as any past articles about him.
As always, keep checking here at The Cardinal Nation for additional international signing news as it becomes available.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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