The Giants, excited at their string of second-place finishes for Jose Abreu, Rusney Castillo, and Yasmany Tomas, are reportedly in the hunt to finish in second place for Cuban right-hander Yoan Lopez, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
Lopez is a 21-year-old, hard-throwing starter, and he held a showcase for scouts at the Giants academy in the Dominican Republic on November 8. Because of his age, he's subject to the international spending limits, which is both good and bad. It's bad because his bonus will likely be large enough to put teams over the allotted bonus pool, which means that spending (say) $5 million on his bonus would force the Giants to pay a little over $2 million on top of that as a tax. If his bonus costs $20 million, the Giants would have to play about $17 million on top of that, and the Giants would be unable to sign an pool-eligible international free agent for more than $300,000 over the next two years in either scenario, which seems like a drag.
Note: I have no idea what he'll actually cost. At least those numbers were kept warm for you.
But there's a silver lining here because if the Giants blow past them for Lopez, they might as well blow past them for 19-year-old Yoan Moncada, who is getting near-Bryce Harper levels of hype. The Giants could invest a large chunk of their Panda savings in two Cuban prospects. Even though neither player would be ready right away, the Giants could develop them and teach them the finer points of the game. So they would both be student Yo...
Anyway, the Giants aren't going to have a huge bonus pool because of their playoff finish, so this might be the year they blow past it. Or this might be the year they finish second for everyone, just like the last year. Either way, it's exciting! Being second in a race is still exciting, if annoying.
Both Yoans are being held up by immigration-related red tape, so neither one is available to sign soon. As such, it's unlikely for the Giants to hang around and wait for them at the expense of free agents like Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, and Melky Cabrera. Signing Lopez and/or Moncada would probably be coming from a different part of the budget.