Global Baseball

One man\’s year-long journey through the world of baseball

And We Have A Record… maybe?

If El Nuevo Herald can be trusted, the Boston Red Sox just obliterated the record international amateur signing bonus by inking Dominican SS/3B Michael Almanazar to a $3 million contract to open their 2007 signing season with a bang. Among other things, this ends the reign of Joel Guzman’s hold on the title, and the former Dodger turned Devil Rays farmhand will now almost certainly be relegated to obscurity.

Update: Reader Navin points out conflicting reports that have Almanazar’s bonus sitting at a measly $1.5 million.  Perhaps Guzman’s name will live on as an answer to an obscure trivia question for another year.


July 4, 2007 - Posted by | Signing Period


  1. I written before and I want to ask you something somewhat off-topic. Besides the total immersion is there another you learned to speak Cuban, Dominican, or Mexican Spanish?

    Comment by Brian from mississippi | July 4, 2007

  2. Hi there, I love your blog. Just thought I’d let you know a few sites (including says Almanzar only signed for $1.5 million). Here’s a Boston Herald link that mentions it:

    Please keep up the good work, I really enjoy your blog!

    Comment by Navin | July 5, 2007

  3. Hey Brian.

    I came to the Dominican Republic, where I started my year, with only the most basic grasp of Spanish. While I didn’t actually take Spanish courses there, I really gained a working knowledge of the language in the DR. I have been told in every Spanish-speaking country I have visited since that I speak with a Dominican accent. The whole year long, it was a struggle to remember to pronounce the letter ‘S,’ and I still smirk inwardly whenever anyone asks for a bolsa, so I’d say the Dominican Spanish influence is definitely still with me.

    Comment by jhelfgott | July 6, 2007

  4. also Baseball america is repoting the same thing that it is 1.5 million dollars. here is the link.

    Comment by Norberto paulino | July 6, 2007

  5. Will any other Latin countries begin to supply more talent to MLB besides just the DR, Venezuela or potentially Cuba? Colombia? Nicaragua? Or Mexico?

    Comment by Richard | July 7, 2007

  6. Richard, Colombia has already provided one of the biggest names of this year’s free agent market (if not the biggest) in RHP Julio Teheran, who signed with the Braves. It seems like some of these other countries are beginning to get bigger talent and teams are scouting them more heavily than in the past.

    Comment by Navin | July 7, 2007

  7. Nicaragua and Colombia are the big ones. Scouts weren’t going to Nicaragua in the mid-80s/early-90s because it was thought to be unsafe. Now, they’re back, and the talent is pretty cheap. Colombians are generally considered more athletic than Nicaraguans (Nicaragua is a pretty short country as far as national averages go), but Nicaragua balances that out by being a little more baseball crazy.

    Scouting/signing in both countries is growing, though, unlike Panama, which is pretty much staying the same.

    The big explosion will be if/when Cuba opens up.

    Comment by jhelfgott | July 8, 2007

  8. Visit My Website

    Comment by Norberto paulino | July 8, 2007

  9. Ha Ha – bolsa – I think the Domincans say fundo or funda, something like that.

    Thanks for the reply…keep up the good work! Oh, and I’m still jealous of your travels.

    Comment by Brian from Mississippi | July 12, 2007

  10. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

    Comment by Idetrorce | December 16, 2007

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