Ynoa signed with the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB) for the amount of $4.25 million, setting a new record for the A's organization after lefty pitcher Mark Mulder was signed for 3.2 million in 1998. Ynoa was named the "Number One" and the "crown jewel" in the "Best Latino Prospects of 2008." Ynoa is said to be the most impressive Latin American player prospect since Félix Hernández in 2002. Two MLB teams (Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers) "reportedly offered Ynoa about $5 million." It was reported that Ynoa signed with Oakland after a deal fell through with the New York Yankees. The Yankees reportedly broke off talks with Ynoa after agent Adam Katz sought to renegotiate a handshake agreement with the club.
"Michel Ynoa" is the original spelling of Michael's name. His first name was anglicized to "Michael" after he signed with the Oakland Athletics in July 2008. Although Michael's last name is more commonly spelled with an "I", as of February 2009, he will be using the original spelling "Ynoa." "According to A's director of player development Keith Lieppman, [Y]noa will start going by the original spelling of his last name, 'Ynoa.' Somewhere along the line, there was a mixup on the spelling, and the pitcher's name made its way into the public forum with an 'I.'"[dead link]