According to Baseball America, the Red Sox rank merely 19th out of all 30 MLB teams in international amateur signing expenditures. This does not include Cuban defectors, so Ibarra and Iglesias are not factored in. Nevertheless, I believe it is somewhat concerning.
The Mariners and Yankees, two teams with high budgets, come in at 1 and 2 respectively, with about 6.5 million dollars spent on international amateurs for the Mariners, and 5.27 million for the Yankees. However, the Pirates and Athletics, who are notoriously stingy, come in at 4 and 5 with 5 and 4.75 million spent on signings. The Red Sox fall in at number 19, behind the Mets (!) and just in front of the Red and Phillies. The Red Sox spent 1.64 million dollars on international signings in total for 2010, according to Baseball America.
As I see it, this could mean a few possibilities:
1) The Red Sox are good at quickly signing talent they find to avoid the bidding wars that ensue among highly touted prospects, such as Sano or Heredia.
2) The Red Sox do not feel that the international draft is worth dropping big money on, preferring to spend lesser amounts on less well-known prospects, thus avoiding overpaying for busts.
3) The Red Sox international scouting program is not developed as well as it could be given the team's large financial capabilities and/or the team has not budgeted substantial money for the draft.
In my opinion, it is very important that the answer should not be 3, and if it is, then that should be changed. In today's hyper-competitive, largely sabermetrically influenced atmosphere, it is imperative that even the mighty Red Sox stay on top of any market of talent they can find. I do not see the reason that the Red Sox are falling behind the Athletics and Padres in this area. Just as the Red Sox have successfully exploited the rule 4 draft, they should use their superior financial strength to become a major player on the international amateur market and continue to fund a top notch talent pipeline.