The Braves announced that they’ve traded right-hander Aaron Kurcz to the Athletics in exchange for an international bonus slot that’s valued at $167K. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets that this latest trade will allow the Braves to sign Venezuelan shortstop Juan Morales.
The Braves have been the most active team in terms of trading for international bonus money. They’ve moved right-handers Cody Martin, Caleb Dirks and Garrett Fulenchek in addition to outfielder Jordan Paroubeck and now Kurcz in order to acquire an additional $1.299MM in bonus money to sign Morales, Dominican shortstop Derian Cruz and Dominican outfielder Christian Pache. By making these trades, the Braves have avoided incurring spending restrictions in the 2016-17 signing period, and Ben Badler of Baseball America tweets that the organization plans to spend aggressively in next year’s class.
An 11th-round pick by the Cubs in 2011, Kurcz went to the Red Sox as part of the compensation package for Red Sox GM turned Cubs president Theo Epstein. Boston traded him to the Braves in the offseason deal that sent Anthony Varvaro to the Red Sox. Kurcz, 24, missed the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery but has otherwise posted consistently low ERA marks and gaudy strikeout totals with questionable control. He has a lifetime 2.87 ERA in the minors with 11.6 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9, with his BB/9 rates worsening as he’s ascended he minor league ladder.