TODAY: The signing slots acquired are worth around $700K, per Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com (Twitter link). That would appear to suggest that the Reds have added Baltimore’s first ($538,800) and fourth ($154,500) pool allocations.
YESTERDAY: The Reds have picked up two international signing slots from the Orioles in exchange for minor league righty Franderlyn Romero, according to a Baltimore announcement. Dayton Dragons pitching coach Derrin Ebert had revealed the news that Romero was headed to the O’s earlier today (via Dayton broadcaster Tom Nichols, on Twitter).
This move fits alongside Baltimore’s draft pick deal earlier today. In both instances, the club picked up questionable minor league talent while passing off some of its amateur spending capacity. The other trade also saw the O’s shed just under $3MM in salary, in the form of Brian Matusz’s contract. Only certain draft picks may be dealt, but teams are able to trade individual signing allotments, subject to certain restrictions.
It’s not yet known which slots were sent to Cincinnati, but Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes on Twitter that they are for the current signing season, not the one set to begin on July 2 of this year. What that means for the Reds’ plans remains to be seen, but it’s an important distinction. After all, most of the talent available for the 2015-16 period has already signed, though there are some notable Cuban players who could sign in either period.
Among those players is Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez, who had a reported deal with the Reds. As Steve Adams of MLBTR explains here, that created some issues and raised some questions. The organization has seemingly sought to push the signing back to this summer so as to avoid incurring a two-year ban on future signings. After all, Cinci enters the coming July 2 period with a total bonus pool of just over $5MM (second-highest in the league), and the club would surely like to utilize that availability to boost its talent pipeline.
In return, Baltimore picks up a 23-year-old hurler who’s yet to advance past the Class A level. Romero opened the year there after previously making just one outing above Rookie ball. He’s off to a solid start for Dayton, at least, with a 2.87 ERA in 47 frames and 8.0 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9.