Pirates Prospects is reporting (sub. req’d) that the Pirates paid about $1.25M out of their 2017-18 international bonus pool for South Korean shortstop Ji-Hwan Bae. It’s a very thorough report on Bae and highly recommended. That bonus probably used up what was left in the team’s pool. Based mainly on reporting from P2, it appeared the Pirates’ pool was probably down under $1M, although they enhanced it with $500,000 from the Giants in the Andrew McCutchen trade.
This news is significant, at least in my opinion, because it may mark a departure in the Pirates’ unwillingness to spend significant amounts on international amateurs. They haven’t exceeded $700,000 since they went a little over a million for Harold Ramirez back in 2011. It’s also possible that this is a sign of changing practices under new international scouting director Junior Vizcaino.