PITTSBURGH -- Monday marked the first day teams could sign players off the international market, and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said he has the resources and is prepared to sign foreign players. Many of the top names were signed on Monday, but none were linked to the Astros.
"In some ways, it's a starting and finishing point," Luhnow said. "There's been a lot of scouting work that's led up to July 2, and that's the first day you can sign players. If you know who you want and you're pretty convinced you can sign them, that's a deal you do on July 2."
In accordance with the new Basic Agreement, the international system now operates with money pools and penalties for teams that exceed its pools.
For the 2012-13 signing period, every team will be able to spend $2.9 million without penalty. Starting in 2013-14, the pools will be based on each team's winning percentage in the prior season, with pools ranging from approximately $1.7 million to $4.8 million.
"Next year, with the caps based on the standings, that's when things will be more interesting, and you'll see more unique strategies like we saw in the Draft this year." Luhnow said.