Since the Guggenheim group took over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, the organization has been large players in the international market, signing Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, Alex Guerrero and Yaisel Sierra, among others.
As expected, Los Angeles quickly exceeded their bonus pool money and are paying a 100 percent tax penalty on dollars spent during the current signing period.
Moreover, the Dodgers will not be able to sign international bonus-pool free agents for more than $300,000 in each next two international signing periods, beginning on July 2.
Cuban pitching prospect Vladimir Gutierrez had a showcase for Major League teams in Clearwater, Florida, and according to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Dodgers were among the teams present and showed interest in the 20 year old:
“The Dodgers, who are over their current bonus pool, also had a strong presence at the event.”
It’s uncertain if Gutierrez will sign now or wait until the next period. If he waits, then the Dodgers are likely out of the running as they will not be able to dole out the necessary contract and signing bonus.
The Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals are also reported as having representatives to watch the right-handed prospect.
Gutierrez left the Cuban team at the Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico in February 2015. He was in the midst of his season in Serie Nacional in which he had a 2.45 ERA in 51.1 innings with 49 strikeouts and 19 walks.