Outfielder Trent Oeltjen has seen action in parts of three MLB seasons and no less than eight Triple-A campaigns. The Aussie outfielder is now set to retire after playing his final ballgame this weekend for his hometown Sydney Blue Sox, according to a club release. Though Oeltjen had limited opportunity to have an impact at the big league level, he was a force in the upper minors. Across 2,908 plate appearances at Triple-A, he slashed .294/.358/.479 with 68 home runs and 122 stolen bases.
- A large gathering of scouts was on hand for a showcase this week featuring Cuban outfielder Dayron Varona, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. (Crasnick estimates that fifty sets of eyes were on hand to see the bonus limit-exempt Varona, while Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that it was more like 75.) Via ObstructedView.net, Varona’s Serie Nacional statistics show a high-contact approach (.312/.376/.470 lifetime slash), though he has not put up big counting stats with 38 home runs and 22 steals (against 25 times caught) in a career spanning 1,504 trips to the plate.
- In the pursuit of Cuban second baseman Yoan Moncada, who is subject to international bonus caps and penalties, the rich teams have the edge, Ben Badler of Baseball America explains. Any team signing Moncada will, of course, have to pay a 100% tax on most of the anticipated signing bonus. While the bonus itself can be paid out over three years, Badler notes that the penalty amount must be paid in a lump sum within a month of the June 15th end of the signing period. Regardless of exactly how many tens of millions of dollars Moncada commands, that is going to be a very significant, inflexible hit to the balance sheet — especially since it will go to a 19-year-old who will not add big league value for some time. Additionally, Badler notes, the potential for large arbitration paydays must also be accounted for. In the aggregate, even if the total cost (bonus plus penalty) added up to something akin to the payouts promised to players like Jose Abreu and Rusney Castillo, the required structure of the deal would greatly increase the cost to the team and present cash flow roadblocks. Deeper-pocketed teams will have an obvious edge in freeing resources to make that work.