1:03pm: MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Mariners are picking up $500K in the trade (Twitter link). However, Mayo also notes that the previously reported sum of $1.57MM that the Mariners had to work with was incorrect. Seattle, according to Mayo, initially had just a bit north of $1MM remaining in their pool, so this trade pushes their remaining total to $1.5575MM.
11:08am: The Mariners announced on Thursday that they’ve traded right-hander Thyago Vieira to the White Sox in exchange for international bonus money. The move opens a spot on Seattle’s 40-man roster in advance of next week’s deadline to set 40-man rosters for the Rule 5 Draft, and it also gives the Mariners some additional funds for the pursuit of Shohei Ohtani and other high-end international amateurs.
The amount of money Seattle is receiving isn’t yet known, though international money must be traded in increments of $250K under the new collective bargaining agreement, so they’ll add at least that much to their pool. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reported last week that Seattle’s bonus pool stood at $1.57MM, so they’ll add at least $250K to that sum. The Rangers ($3.535MM), Yankees ($3.25MM) and Twins ($3.245MM) still have the most to offer Ohtani, if he is indeed posted.
In exchange for the additional funds, the White Sox will reel in an MLB-ready bullpen arm capable of reaching triple-digit velocity readings on his fastball with regularity. Vieira, 25 in January, pitched to an even 4.00 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season. While his strikeout numbers at those upper levels weren’t what they were in Class-A Advanced, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com still pegged Vieira eighth among Mariners farmhands, placing a true 80 grade his fastball and giving him a 55-grade (above-average) curveball as well. Vieira has struggled with control at times in the minors, though Callis and Mayo note that he comes with a closer’s ceiling if he can put everything together.
For a White Sox club that traded David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak, Dan Jennings and Tyler Clippard this past summer, the addition of Vieira gives them an intriguing young piece with six years of club control if all pans out well.