The Orioles have announced a deal that will send a pair of 2014-15 international bonus slots to the Astros. Baltimore will pick up left-hander Chris Lee in return.
Houston will pick up the 46th and 76th overall slots, per Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). That delivers an additional $391.5K and $264.3K, respectively, to the Astros’ international coffers for the current July 2 signing season, which is obviously nearing a close.
The addition boosts an already league-leading $5MM+ total allocation. Baltimore had a total of about $2.25MM to work with in the present signing period before today’s move.
The Astros have reportedly signed several seven-figure players, including Ronny Rafael, Franklin Perez, and Miguel Sierra. Presumably, the extra space will allow the team to add a few extra players or to avoid some penalties for any overages already incurred.
Lee, 22, has yet to move past the low-A level in the Astros organization, though Baseball America rated him Houston’s 24th-best prospect before the 2014 season. He worked to a 3.66 ERA over 113 innings last year, but posted just 6.0 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9. In Lee’s 30 2/3 frames this time around, he has a more promising 7.0 K/9 versus 2.9 BB/9, though he is running a slightly higher earned run average (4.11).