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Severely restricted Red Sox land top-20 IFA Albert Guaimaro for $300,000

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The Red Sox signed a top-20 international free agent, which is exactly what they were supposed to be unable to do.

When the Red Sox gave Yoan Moncada some $31.5 million this spring, they knew they were essentially trading in their ability to be major players in the upcoming IFA market to go all-in on last year's. In fact, by exceeding their pool by such a vast amount, the Red Sox made themselves ineligible to sign players for more than $300,000 over the next two signing periods. Given that the top names generally go for seven figures, that would leave the Sox on the fringes.

Or at least that was the idea when the league instituted those rules. But as Baseball America pointed out, there are ways to work within those restrictions, and it seems like the Red Sox are doing just that. Over at MLB.com, they're keeping track of all the top July 2 prospects, and to make a long story short, one of these things is not like the others...

The next lowest figure on that list, you'll notice, is more than twice the bonus Boston served up to young outfielder Albert Guaimaro of Venezuela. It's hard to say what it was that got the Red Sox that deal, exactly. Whether it be the result of a positive relationship with the agent or of some other concession. One way or another, though, in a year where they shouldn't be able to do much at all, the Red Sox have snuck in a surprisingly big signing.