Teenager Luis Morales Might Get Record MLB Bonus

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Teenager Luis Morales may be just a few weeks away from a record MLB bonus.

Morales, 19, is a right-handed pitcher out of Cuba. He’s expected to command a massive bonus. Speculation persists that his signing bonus will likely exceed $2.6 million, which should break the record for an international pitcher.

A Friday report from ESPN mentioned that the Oakland Athletics are “considered heavy favorites to sign Morales.” The hard throwing teenager has already reached 99 mph in team workouts.

Like many Cuban born players, Morales defected on an international trip. The free agent pitcher did so in Mexico City while playing for a U-23 team.

MLB has declared that Morales will be a free agent on September 7th. Being that most of the bonus pool period money has already been spent, Morales likely won’t officially sign until mid-January. That’s when the the next signing period commences.

Bonus Should Surpass Big Name Angel

Incredibly, Morales is expected to pocket more than Shohei Ohtani. In 2017, the Angels signed Ohtani for only $2.315 million. That goes down as one of the greatest bargains in MLB history.

Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani of Japan reacts after his solo homer in the fifth inning during the international friendly baseball match between Japan and the Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome on November 12, 2016. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

While the Athletics have never been major free agent players, the organization is typically very aggressive in the international market.

Young international signings typically command much lower bonuses than established veterans. And though many international prospects don’t pan out, some can turn into Fernando Tatis Jr.. Prior to his PED suspension, Tatis Jr. was considered one of the most valuable players in MLB.

Morales’ MLB fate is yet to be determined, but his bank account should benefit either way.

Bonus pools throughout the league range from $4.5 to $6 million per year. The previous bonus record for a pitcher belongs to Jarlin Susana. The pricey hurler has already been traded from the Padres to the Nationals as part of the Juan Soto trade.

Morales likely has several years of development ahead of him. But his immense potential seems to be worth a record-setting deal.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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