Last July, the Giants signed Lucius Fox to a $6.5 million contract. Because they went over their allotted bonus pool, they had to pay an extra $4 million in penalties and lost the ability to sign an under-23 international player for more than $300,000 until July, 2018. The logical conclusion was that the Giants were okay with those penalties because they were planning to spend vast, un-Giants-like sums on the international market, and Fox was just the beginning. Their almost-signing of Eddy Julio Martinez reinforced that idea.
Apparently, they just really, really liked Lucius Fox.
Buried in a comprehensive notes piece from Alex Pavlovic, we have this tidbit:
The Giants haven't ruled out adding depth, but they're pretty much tapped out budget-wise. They also don't expect any more splashes on the international front.
It's possible that the strategy changed once they landed a pair of expensive pitchers. Back in July, it might have been optimistic to expect one $90 million-pluss pitcher, much less a pair of them and a starting center fielder, too. The Giants don't always land their high-priced targets -- see Jon Lester and James Shields -- and they usually don't spend almost as much on pitchers they like a lot less for their backup plan. Once they made with the franchise-record spending spree, it's possible that their international strategy had to be adjusted.
Which is fine, just fine. A little disappointing in that we're-all-horrible-spoiled-fans kind of way, but I'll take the pitchers on the roster over the prospects in the bush. Still, the international market was the easiest, most obvious way for the Giants to replace the loss of their first-round draft pick, which they gave up for Jeff Samardzija. Using financial resources to add high-upside talent would also make sense for a farm system that's deep but lacking in high-upside talent.
At the same time, they sure spent $250 million on free agents this year, so you can forgive them for reversing course and tightening the belt when it comes to international prospects. I suppose we all might have different ideas on what constitutes a "splash," with the Giants still planning to explore the second tier of international free agents, including Vladimir Gutierrez, but forgoing the shinier, more expensive prospects like Lazarito and Lourdes Gurriel.
Or they might be almost entirely out of the international market for the next two years, which would be disappointing. Understandable. But disappointing. But understandable! But ... well, you get the idea.