ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays confirmed the signing of Dominican prospect Adrian Rondon on Monday, his 16th birthday.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound shortstop, ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, received a $2.95 million signing bonus.
"I'm happy for myself and for my family, and I thank God," Rondon said. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to sign. It's a dream come true, truthfully, not for the money, but for the chance to compete in the Major Leagues. It's truly going to change my life. I've worked for this every day from 7 [a.m.] to 7 at night to have this chance. There were many sacrifices."
Rondon has fluid actions on offense and defense, and he never seems out of control. He projects to be a solid defender with a decent arm, quick feet and natural baseball instincts. The teenager is also expected to stay at shortstop because of his advanced skill set.
On offense, Rondon is known for making solid contact and has gap-to-gap power. He has shown a good approach at the plate, and he starred during his appearances in International Prospect League games in the Dominican Republic.
Rondon is trained by Astin Jacobo.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2013 for the international signing period that started on July 2. Tampa Bay's bonus pool total for this year's signing period was $1,998,100, which would have put the Rays in line for a penalty, but the club made an accompanying trade with the signing to add money to its bonus pool.
The Rays sent Minor League pitcher Matt Ramsey to the Marlins for their second-, third-, and fourth-round bonus slots for the 2014-15 signing period, the value of which is just over $1 million. Added to the original $1,998,100 pool, that would give the Rays the requisite amount to sign Rondon without exceeding their bonus pool.
The Rays could still incur a penalty if they sign additional prospects that put them over the limit, but the trade gives them more room to work with.
Teams that exceed the pools by 0 to 5 percent have to pay 100 percent tax, and teams that exceed the pools by 5 to 10 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Teams that exceed the pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100 percent tax on the pool overage. In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed the pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, in addition to paying a 100 percent tax on the pool overage.
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.