Ben Badler has a terrific breakdown of the Rays’ recent international activity at Baseball America, in which he details the restrictions placed upon Tampa Bay this year due to overspending in 2012:
As a result, the Rays won’t be able to sign anyone next year for more than $250,000 and probably won’t make any major international splashes until July 2 either because of the tax. Going well beyond the bonus pool is a curious move, but the Rays did pull in a considerable amount of talent, including arguably the two best 16-year-old pitchers on the market. Given that their 90-win season last year will give them one of the lower bonus pools for the 2013-14 signing period, which many scouts believe is shaping up to be a down year for international talent, perhaps it will be a worthwhile gambit.
In addition Badler has scouting breakdowns of the headliners from last July 2, including southpaw Jose Castillo, northpaw Jose Mujica, and backstop David Rodriguez, along with others whose names you may see climbing the organizational ladder in years. It’s a free piece and worth your time.