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Oakland A’s will sign Lazaro Armenteros (“Lazarito”), exceed international bonus pool, reports Baseball America

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The Athletics will sign one of the most hyped international prospects of the 2016-17 international signing period, reports Baseball America’s Ben Badler.

Sport In Cuba Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics will sign 17-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro “Lazarito” Armenteros for $3 million when the 2016-17 international signing period opens on Saturday, reports Baseball America’s Ben Badler. That signing and others, Badler reports, will push the A’s over their $3,818,700 international signing bonus pool limit.

Armenteros ranks fourth on MLB.com’s top international prospects and has been the subject of intense speculation regarding his future since defecting from Cuba in 2015, but Badler’s report is the first time the A’s have been directly linked to him.

Lazarito was reportedly close to signing with a team last February during last year’s signing period, but new teams entering the mix at the 11th hour delayed his decision until the next period.

Badler also reports the A’s will sign Dominican shortstop Yerdel Vargas (MLB.com No. 21), Dominican shortstop Marcos Brito (MLB.com No. 23), and Dominican outfielder Kevin Richards, sending them well past their international bonus pool limit. As a result, the A’s will have to pay a 100 percent tax on the overage to MLB next year and will be prohibited from signing any players subject to international bonus pool limits to bonuses over $300,000 for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 international spending periods.