Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market
The Quezada signing was a one-time deal.
Before that, Marge always gave Jimbo a ton of money to work with in the MLB budget by cutting everything else (including player development) to the bone. Marge was infamous for running a bare-bones scouting department and allocating the bare minimum for draft pick signing bonuses. That's how the Reds ended up with signability picks like Chad Mottolla and scouting blunders like Jon Oliver in the first round.
Then, when Marge's pie hole got her in to trouble with MLB, John Allen took over and clamped down on MLB spending while freeing up a little cash for signing new amateur talent. That lasted about one year. After seeing $3MM flushed down the crapper on Howington/Quezada in the late 1990s, Allen once again cut the player development budget to the bone. That is when JimBo started getting creative in the draft by signing guys to MLB contracts (Espinosa) and punting draft picks (Sowers).
With the exception of Alejandro Quezada in 1998, JimBo never had much of a budget on the player development side of things during his tenure with the Reds.