Here’s Why the Mets Won’t Be Signing Yoan Moncada

In case you are not one of the Mets season-ticket holders who had the opportunity to hear Sandy Alderson’s explanation for why the Mets won’t be signing 19-year-old Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada, this is the pared-down reason:


For those who prefer a less-visual, more literal reason, this post from Craig Calcaterra puts it succinctly:

Moncada, 19, is expected to get a deal in the $30-40 million range.

For those who prefer a more verbose explanation — perhaps, for example, to be comforted with a litany of excuses reasons to justify the Mets’ disinterest — you can see this story at Baseball America, which discusses things like the international bonus pool rules, overage taxes, blah blah blah. Ironically, BA concludes that story with a very similar statement:

Plenty of teams will be interested in signing Moncada. Most likely, it’s the richest ones that will be fighting it out for him.

If that’s not enough to put you at ease, Sandy Alderson also adds that the Mets have Amed Rosario, who is also a 19-year-old shortstop (and, duh, what organization needs more than one of those?).

Also of note: the current international bonus pool regulations could very well change at some point in the near future — especially if/when international players are included in the June amateur draft (or a separate draft for international players is initiated). Just sayin’.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dan B February 9, 2015 at 11:47 am
    Alderson mentions if the Mets sign Moncada it might prevent them from signing an international free agent in the next couple years. For example, a young talented shortstop might become available.
  2. Bat February 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm
    Joe, I would politely say that you may have misunderstood what Alderson said, which on this specific occasion actually made sense to me.

    At first I was pissed that the Mets wouldn’t make an effort to sign Moncada, but after I thought about Alderson’s explanation, which basically says that signing Moncada is the proverbial “eggs in one basket” approach because you pay this guy so much that you get penalized by MLB for something like the next two years of subsequent international signings.

    In this connection, I do NOT think what Alderson was saying was “Look, we have Amed Rosario so we don’t need another SS” but rather “Look, if we signed Moncada we can’t sign any guys like Amed Rosario for the next two years because we are prohibited by MLB rules from doing so.”

    I think everyone knows that a very high percentage of these international guys that are signed are initially labeled as SS because they are just the best athletes on their respective team. Then they grow – sometimes sideways or in the legs – and many are moved off SS once they are in a MLB’s team minor league pipeline and there is so much more talent. So I don’t think Alderson was arguing “We don’t need a future SS because we have Rosario.” Rather, he was saying something much different which is that the Mets will be severely handicapped if not outright prohibited from signing guys like Amed Rosario, Kenny Hernandez, Ali Sanchez, Marcos Molina, etc. for two years after signing Moncada.

    If Moncada busts or gets seriously injured, the team that signed him to all that money loses not only Moncada but also all these other potential guys so once again Moncada is the proverbial “eggs in one basket” type of signing as I understand it.

    • Joe Janish February 10, 2015 at 6:37 pm
      Bat, I would politely say that you have not only sipped the Kool-Aid, but signed up for “subscribe and save.”

      Alderson actually DID SAY that a reason they weren’t in on Moncada is because of Rosario and others. Here’s the actual quote: “… one of these days maybe we will be in on a guy like Moncada, but my guess is you’re gonna find that the teams that are in on him don’t have a Rosario at the bottom end of their system and are doing it because of a real hole that they have as opposed to kind of dealing from strength.”

      Alderson’s comparison to Shake Shack was yet another excuse not to spend money, while also providing free advertising for one of Citi Field’s most lucrative vendors.

      Hey, I don’t blame you for agreeing with Alderson. His role and purpose is to make up logical-sounding reasons for the Wilpons’ inability or refusal to spend money — and he’s really good at it. If not a baseball GM, he’d make a great political election specialist. And if it turned out that the Mets went after Moncada, Alderson would have crafted a similarly awesome reason, backed with all kinds of logic.

      See, here’s what blows the hole in Alderson’s argument, which is, essentially, that the Mets have “one of the best minor league systems” and therefore don’t need to put all their eggs in one basket, as you point out. Having a deep system is exactly why an organization can take a gamble on an uber-prospect like Moncada — because if he fails, it’s not going to make much of an impact on what they’re doing. It’s exactly the reason that the Cubs were/are one of the teams considering Moncada — because they have plenty of depth in the event that he’s a bust.

      Saying that you won’t try to sign an elite prospect like Moncada because it prevents you from going after other unknown quantities in the future is akin to not asking the captain of the cheerleading squad to the prom because if she says yes, that prevents you from asking a girl who you’re not as interested in. Or, it’s like not buying the iPhone 6 because you want to wait for the 7, as it might have even better features. But then you wait for the 8. And then the 9. And so on …

      There’s a very good chance that Moncada busts — just like F-Mart was a bust, just like Lastings Milledge was a bust, just like Shawn Abner and Steve Chilcott and dozens of other teenage phenoms were busts. But teams that want to succeed don’t worry about the busts, they focus on getting the very best talent they can find. Next year, maybe there will be another teenage phenom, and the Mets won’t sign him, either, for the same reason they won’t sign Moncada, and weren’t in on Yasmany Tomas, Yasiel Puig, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Abreu, Masahiro Tanaka, and every other blue-chip international free agent of the past five years — and it’s the same reason they haven’t made any big-name free agent signings, and the same reason they won’t make a trade for Troy Tulowitzki. It’s about the money, plain and simple. Either they can’t, or won’t, spend.

      With every non-action, Sandy Alderson provides a compelling argument and a new story in defense. Behind every one of those stories is the truth, and I suppose that since the truth is the same, boring, dull, depressing message, it’s not as interesting, so the media picks up and runs with Alderson’s rhetoric. The beat writers would be out of their jobs if they kept writing “Mets Can’t or Won’t Spend for Best Players” over and over.

      • Dan42 February 10, 2015 at 8:57 pm
        And there’s always” Rob Manfred believes the Mets can increase payroll if they want to”
      • argonbunnies February 12, 2015 at 4:19 am
        I dunno about your “beat writers lose jobs” theory, Joe. Fox News has found ENORMOUS success by repeating the same pessimistic message over and over again. The key is to make it frightening and get people angry — beat reporters simply need to claim that the Wilpons’ unwillingness to spend will result in the complete demise of the Mets, and an unstoppable process of moving the team or eliminating it entirely will be set in motion any day now.

        Once you associate “didn’t spend” with “team will be moved or removed” by repeating it a few million times, then all you need to do for your daily column is rant about how awful it is that the Mets passed on their latest opportunity to spend, and readers will eat it up.

        Seriously, if I didn’t respect my fellow Mets fans (and, y’know, reality), I bet I could launch The Awful Truth About the Mets inflammatory clickbait blog tomorrow and make some cash off ad views.

      • Bat February 17, 2015 at 10:44 pm
        Joe, I’m not sipping Kool-Aid, but I definitely think you look at every Mets situation and find the worst possible thought process, outcome, scenario (whatever) to attribute to Mets ownership and management.

        I’m no fan of the Wilpons and I am only slightly more than lukewarm* on Alderson and his coterie of advisers (Ricciardi, DePo, Ricco, and Co.), but I do think you are an extremist when it comes to negativity.

        * = I simply do not understand (1) the decision to give up a first round draft pick for a 36 year old injury prone outfielder who is a poor defender and (2) more generally the lack of action this offseason. For example, with respect to (2), a second LHP in the bullpen is clearly needed and the Mets possess all these prospects and the best they can do is get Gilmartin in the Rule 5 draft?? They should have gotten a guy who is even better than Edgin so Edgin is the second LHP in the pen rather than the first…that decision could backfire quick if Edgin pisses the bed this year.

        • argonbunnies February 18, 2015 at 12:53 am
          Yeah, pouncing on Zach Duke before the White Sox did, or shelling out the cash for Andrew Miller, would have been nice. Failing that, I actually like Gilmartin better than any other Plan C’s I can think of. At least he dominated AAA lefties last year.
        • Vilos February 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm
          Hello Bat,

          Your not alone in your Cuddyer feelings. Today, a news link from MetBlog, says that the Cuddyer signing is considered one of the worst in the offseason.

          The reasoning is pretty much the same. A 36 year old, frequently injured who doesnt play outfield defense that well, and plus you lose a first round pick.

          So I ask myself, what were they thinking. Were they trying to spike ticket sales? Were they pampering D.Wright by bringing in his friend? Was he the only righty hitting outfielder available and in their budget? They’re completely lost and they dont know what they’re doing?

          I guess I have to make a small disclosure. I dont like the Wilponzis but I do like Alderson (argons drug simil post has a insightful twist). Yes Alderson has made bad moves (like not signing Jose Reyes), but in general I like what he has done.

          So back to my question, why did they sign Cuddyer if all known data seams to scream out that its a terrble deal?

          Could caracter be a reason? I’m asking here. Joe, anybody with baseball experience: could caracter be the reason, along with other qualities. For example, Cuddyer has said that both injuries last year were not “structural” (my word), meaning that they shouldn’t bother him this year. If its true, and he plays healthy, its good news. Second, he does hit lefthanders so thats good also. But my question is, can caracter be the reason, that Alderson was willing to sign him and lose a first round draft pick?

          Think about it. First they signed Granderson, then Colon and now Cuddyer. All 36 and above, but all with apparent good caracter traits. On the other hand, the Mets have a young talented team that needs leaders.

          I always try to compare to the 86 team and how they came to be. In this case, can we compare Granderson to Hernandez, and Cuddyer to Carter. Obviously no, but they do seem to be “positive leaders”. Maybe I`m wrong and they dont have anything special about their caracter. As always, time will tell if it was a bust or success.

        • Joe Janish February 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm
          Bat, regarding this:
          “I definitely think you look at every Mets situation and find the worst possible thought process, outcome, scenario (whatever) to attribute to Mets ownership and management.”

          Yup. Was there ever a question that I didn’t? Did it take you this long to figure it out?

          Regarding all the other stuff you stated: agreed.

        • Joe Janish February 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm

          Regarding these questions:
          “Were they trying to spike ticket sales? Were they pampering D.Wright by bringing in his friend? Was he the only righty hitting outfielder available and in their budget?”

          Yes. Yes. Yes.

          As for character, no — at least, not in terms of collecting “clubhouse guys.” It’s about attracting fans and generating ticket sales. It’s always about that with the Mets, and always has been. Cuddyer won’t embarrass the team, he could turn out to be a fan favorite, and there’s a built-in story via his relationship with David Wright.

          As stated on this blog a year ago, the Curtis Granderson signing was made for similar reasons. Mainly, that Granderson was already a well-known, well-liked entity in NYC. Gotta sell the season tickets in the winter, and Granderson was key for that.

          To nitpick, I have to disagree with Colon as a “character guy.” I don’t see PEDs users as “character guys.”

        • argonbunnies February 18, 2015 at 10:07 pm
          I’m the first to dismiss “character” as nonsense when it comes to wins and losses, but Joe, I was wondering if you had a different take as a coach and former player. Forget Wilponzis and Alderspin for a moment — do you think Cuddyer’s intangibles will help the Mets win games?

          Personally, none of the teams I’ve played on (all amateur, nothing pro) have ever won more games from having solid citizens. The game-winning qualities that rubbed off on others were, if anything:
          – performance, especially in big spots (helped team confidence)
          – discipline and smart choices, but only when they work out (confidence)
          – dive-for-everything hustle (helped team energy)
          – jumping around and yelling positive, psych-up stuff (energy)
          – very occasionally, humor or wisdom to break tension and ease nerves

          I might enjoy the company of a Cuddyer or Wright more, but if I want a teammate to actually get me to play better in games, someone like a young Jimmy Rollins is probably the best bet.

          I don’t think the Mets have any position players like that.

        • Joe Janish February 19, 2015 at 11:37 am
          Argon, I don’t know enough about Cuddyer to know if his character is going to be a positive or a negative. What we know for sure: if the Mets have a successful season, and/or if Cuddyer turns out to be well-liked by the beat writers, there will be an avalanche of stories of how Cuddyer’s presence is a positive and how he’s a great example for the youngsters, etc. (see: Jason Isringhausen).

          Is there any truth to the “great clubhouse guy” stories? I think so. I have been on winning and losing teams, and one of the differences between the two is that winning teams focus on winning habits (note I stated “one of” — talent matters as well). Athletes who are “bad” off the field, or not necessarily great clubhouse guys can change and get sucked into the winning habits — it’s one explanation for why veterans on their last legs seem to have one last hurrah playing in the Bronx.

          At amateur levels, in all sports, we see this all the time — the best-led / best-coached teams usually win. It’s why colleges hire specific coaches, and why some high school teams can go from last place to state champions after a coaching change. Over the long term, in leagues where the talent is average (aside from a handful of future pros) and limited, preparation and execution wins.

          In the pros, it’s not as simple because everyone is world-class and the pool is not limited (i.e., your team can have players from outside your local district). A team can load up with stars and win by sheer talent. Can a team with less raw talent win by out-preparing and out-executing their opponents? I think so — I believe the Orioles did that last year. But it doesn’t happen with one or two “character guys” — it has to be an entire organization of players adhering to a philosophy.

          All things being equal — i.e., talent being the same — yes, I do believe that the team with more “character guys” will win more over the long haul. As for whether or not a player needs to be a solid citizen, I think it depends on how he fits into the team philosophy once he puts on the uniform. Some people have completely different personalities away once they get on the field.

  3. DaveSchneck February 9, 2015 at 11:49 pm
    Certainly it is debatable whether or not to put the big money into one prospect (albeit a consensus stud) and forgo the international pool for two years or not, but the Met ownership gets no benefit of doubt given their unwillingness to properly fund the payroll.
  4. Bat February 10, 2015 at 2:05 am
    Haha, good point Dave.
  5. david February 11, 2015 at 5:55 am
    I hate to be cynical, but I think Joe is on the money – no pun intended.

    Sandy went to Harvard. In Boston. I don’t read a whole lot into his words these days, I read into his acts, or more often inaction. And like it or lump it, look at most of the acts, or in action, and the easy answer for many – but not all – is money.

    Now, money is not why he kept Duda and dealt Ike. Sandy deserves credit for that, and other decisions or deals.

    I just think you have to be wilfully bind as a Mets fan not to realise the owners are pinching pennies to pay off the debt to Madoff’s trustee. Which, we hear, is getting smaller; attendance is surging; and payroll is still only slightly up. The Mets are predicted to be in the bottom third of the league in payroll.

    • Dan B February 11, 2015 at 11:29 am
      Money is why we suffered through years of low productivity at firstbase. Alderson might get credit for picking Duda (though he’s only had two thirds of a good season) but he should also take the blame for not fixing it for years (just like shortstop) .
      Wilpons not only owe $75 million for Madoff but they still need to refi their SNY loan. I don’t expect a significant increase in payroll until at least the 2017 season.
      • Joe Janish February 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm
        Um, not-for-nuthin’, but Ike Davis was paid about double Lucas Duda’s salary in 2013-2014.

        Just sayin’ …

    • argonbunnies February 12, 2015 at 4:01 am
      The Wilpons owe a lot of people money, but they’re also raking in more TV and MLB bucks than during the high-payroll days. I have two theories:

      1) When Madoff was producing money out of thin air for them, the Wilpons simply spent whatever they wanted. Now that Bernie’s gone, they’ve decided their team is a strictly for-profit operation; any dollar spent on players that won’t make them $2 back is a no-go. Whereas aiming for playoffs and high attendance is uncertain, pocketing revenue-sharing checks is safe. Given recent history, the Wilpons favor the low-risk plan.

      2) They tried the high-payroll thing once, and it didn’t work. Meanwhile, the A’s and Rays made the playoffs every year for pennies. “That! That’s what we want!” said the Wilpons. “Sure, I can do that, and we don’t even need to completely punt a few years like the Astros,” lied Alderson. 4+ years later, Sandy and the Wilpons are stuck with each other. Fred and Jeff feel better by holding onto the hope that they’re going to be the next Rays than by facing the reality that they have to either spend or tear down.

      • Joe Janish February 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm
        What about Bud Selig’s Great Experiment?

        My theory was that he helped the Wilpons retain ownership in part because he wanted to prove that a New York team could win with a small-market payroll. His entire strategy as commissioner has been to create a socialist system where everyone is equal, and the rich give to the poor, under the public guise of parity.

        • norme February 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm
          My theory is that Fred realizes that his son should not be placed anywhere near the real Wilpon money (real estate). Thus, the Mets are his plaything. But Fred and Saul are only going to give him a limited budget for his toy.
          As for Bud (and I guess Rob Manfred) loyalty should always be rewarded.
        • argonbunnies February 12, 2015 at 9:31 pm
          “Small-budget teams in big cities” is definitely something Bud wants, but I don’t believe that the Wilpons don’t also have a significant say in the matter.
        • DanS February 13, 2015 at 10:27 am
          “Socialist”! C’mon….More like trickle down economics.
      • DanB February 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm
        I think the Madoff effect was slightly different then you are saying. Baseball teams get their money largely up front from season ticket sales, tv and radio sales, and assorted promotions. Their largest cost, player salaries, are more evenly divided through out the year. So the Mets would take their revenue in the first quarter of the year and deposit it with Madoff. They would then withdrawal money through out the year to pay their costs. To use unspecific round numbers, if their costs were $110 million and their revenue was $100 million, they still made money because Madoff was paying between up to 20% return at times which could easily make up the missing $10 million. The money they were making with Madoff offset the difference in baseball cost vs. revenue. Their pattern of deposits and withdrawals support my theory (this is all theory by me based on what I have read). The Mets needed big revenue to generate big returns. It paid for the Mets to have stars because it would generate preseaon revenue which they desired. (Did you ever notice the Mets rarely added salary at the trading deadline?). After Madoff money went away, if costs were $110 million and revenue was $100, the Mets lost money. They had to cut salary to make ends meet. However, to make matters worse, at the time Madoff money went away, their large loans against Citifield and SNY came due. They not only had to balance the books, they had to withdrawal profits from the Mets to pay down those loans to afford their monthly nut. Again, I have no specific inside knowledge, but their behavior and timelines seem to back up my theories.

        Also, you don’t need to make the playoffs to increase revenue. You just have to convince your fans that you have a shot at the wildcard. This is why I hate the wildcard format because teams are selling their fans on the idea that a .500 team has a shot at the wildcard and then, who knows! Teams have stopped striving to be best and now just want to be a couple games over .500. It costs a lot more to raise your team from 85 wins to 95 wins then it does to raise your team from 75 wins to 85 wins and a lot of teams are asking “why bother”?

        • argonbunnies February 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm
          Great points about cash flow! I’ve seen the same stuff you have, and I think your explanation makes sense.

          I wonder when SNY negotiates prices with advertisers? Is that in the offseason too? I imagine that’s a crucial time to generate fan interest.

          By your logic, the Wilpons’ primary objective marketing-wise is to maximize perception of the team during the offseason. If they want to do that without increasing payroll, then I suppose talking about all the moves they’re going to make and all the hot prospects on the horizon makes sense, plus occasionally acquiring someone with name recognition (MetsBlog’s fan approval rating peaked around the Granderson signing). When the Mets got Grandy I thought it was simply a matter of ineptly scouting his defense, and I thought Joe’s “it’s all marketing” take was overly conspiratorial. Now, though, it’s making more and more sense — if you want name recognition without paying top dollar, you get someone old and over-rated. Granderson probably sold just as many season tickets as Ellsbury would have, for 1/3 the price.

          Similarly, the Cuddyer signing got many of us hoping that more moves would follow. During that period of hope, perhaps season tickets were bought and advertisers & vendors ponied up for increased rates, or whatever else goes on mid-winter. Then, the Mets performed their usual bait-and-switch, completing the unthinkable (to outsiders) tactic of sacrificing a first-round pick in an offseason with only one real FA pick-up.

          We Mets fans are hope addicts, and as long as Sandy and the Wilpons throw us the drugs at the right time, they’ve got us hooked when they need us. Then they kick back until we’re scraping resin from the pipe and maybe looking around for a new dealer, before importing just enough new product and hyping it like crazy. Actually, this analogy is perfect — regardless of whether he’s an effective or ineffective GM, Alderson has long annoyed me with his implied disrespect for fans, and now I know what it reminds me of. A drug dealer.

          I wonder if the Wilpons are exclusively dealing, or if they also smoke what they sell? For all their awfulness, I do believe that they are Mets fans who root for the team. Sandy has no such ties; his strongest connections are to MLB, the organization which speculation pegs as keeping the WIlpons in charge. Perhaps all the “Alderson is just the Wilpons’ lackey” theorists have things backwards?

        • DaveSchneck February 18, 2015 at 11:12 am
          Hey Dan,
          I agree with part of your theory, but I think that is the lesser impact of the Madoff fiasco.

          The Wilpons were certainly smug and figured their connection to Madoff gave them an advantage of better than market investment returns. However, without writing a 3,000 word blog, the history is worth a quick review. Freddy always wanted to rebuild Ebbets field Jr. 9/11 put the kabosh on public money, but copyng the Yankee model of a TV network coupled with star power was the model for generating a ton of revenue. And, it worked. The Wilpons are rich people. but not rich enough to finance both a stadium and a TV station. The combination of big revenue streams and profit through the mid 2000s, along with the percieved collateral in the Madoff accounts, combined with partnering with a cash-rich cable company on the network allowed the Wilpons to get what they wanted, primarily with other people’s money. That’s usually how rich folks try to operate. So, the perfect storm got them what they wanted, short of a World Series title, but then a perfect storm unraveled it – the Madoff fraud, the great recession, and a team that broke down without prospects to fill roles or money to buy enough stars. The whole Madoff debacle really only cost them under $100 million, which is huge coin to most of us, but relative to their wealth, not that big a deal. Their assets – team, stadium, TV 65% give or take on the TV station, are collectively worth multiple billions – that doesn’t include their primary real estate business. And again, their debt is huge, but as a percentage of their assets it is likely around 50 to 60%. Banks will continue to line up to lend to them with that amount of equity in a business sector that continues to have revenue growth way beyond most others. Yes, their cash flow was a problem and likely still a headache, until season tix sell more and TV ratings increase the marketing revenue. Still, they have plenty of money to fund a $120 million payroll or sign a legit LH arm for the pen if they so choose. These folks have weathered the storm and we “hope addicts” (thanks Argon) are stuck with this ownership so long as Jeffy wants to keep his toy. Thankfully, it is almost time to focus on baseball, the players and the game itself. I can’t wait.

  6. Vilos February 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I`d like to put forth my two cents abouts the Mets and Wilpons financial situation. Obsviously, its pure speculation.

    First, let me go after the Wilpons. Obsviously they’re wealthy, and were cunning enough to end up owning a baseball franchise in NY. No small feat.
    But, they also have made so many publiclly known mistakes, that its easy to dislike and question them. First there involvement with Madoff and the way they thought it was real. They restructured Bobby Bonillas contract thinking that the 20% was forever! Second, Citifield. Is there another stadium that has been changed so many times in their first five years of existence? I dont want to get into the way they handle the Mets, Jeffy involvement in decision making or their relationship with fans. Where else do fans hate the owners of the local franchise as much as here.

    So to be clear, I dont know if the Wilpons are extremely inteligent and successful or not. But based on these two public events, I really doubt it.

    Second, lets go after the Mets financial situation. In my opinion, one of the Dans has it right. Its 100% cash flow. Think about it, they had to take a 25 million loan from MLB. This is when Alderson comes in. Negative cash flow, excessive debts and refinancing on the horizon.

    Everybody here screams, how is this possible in NY. Well it was and has been for the last couple of years. Should MLB have taken actions and removed the owners? Probably, since its bad business for everyone. Maybe Joe is right and they didnt do it because they wanted a NY team with a small budget. I dont know, but that was what Alderson had to work with.

    How long will the small budget last? My guess is that, the small sales growth written about a couple of weeks ago, is not enough. They have to win, and really build up attendance. If that happens, then maybe they can go after Harvey and posible stars of the suture. Cash flow is king, even in sports franchises in NY and it has to be definately positive and it wont hurt for the refinancing of the stadium and the network to be off the calendar.

    • DanS February 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm
      Looks like the Red Sox put an end to this discussion. And it seems it doesn’t bother them to have more than one prospect at a position or to be “handicapped” for the next two years or whatever by international bonus pool rules.