APNewsBreak: MLB international spending soars above $200M

FILE - In this May 27, 2017, file photo, Cuban outfielder Luis Robert smiles at a news conferences after signing with the Chicago White

NEW YORK (AP) — A record $203 million was spent on international amateur free agents in the just-ended signing period, nearly $50 million more than the previous high and a figure that will plummet when a hard cap on spending starts July 2.

Four Cubans were given contracts that included signing bonuses above $5 million. Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert led the way at $26 million, followed by San Diego pitcher Adrian Morejon at $11 million, and Cincinnati shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and Padres outfielder Jorge Ona at $7 million each.

Baseball's new labor contract imposes a cap on bonuses for international amateurs, with 16 teams limited in 2017-18 to $4.75 million, six to $5.25 million and eight to $5.75 million — all not counting bonuses of up to $10,000.

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