The Royals announced on Thursday that they’ve traded minor league right-hander Kelvin Gonzalez to the Rangers in exchange for international bonus pool allotments.
The 20-year-old Gonzalez — not to be confused with third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, who was acquired from the Nationals in exchange for Kelvin Herrera — has spent the 2018 season with Kansas City’s Rookie-level affiliate in the Appalachian League. Through 19 1/3 innings, he’s worked to a 4.19 ERA with a 17-to-7 K/BB ratio and a 50.8 percent ground-ball rate. Gonzalez split the 2017 season between the Royals’ Rookie-level Arizona League affiliate and their Dominican Summer League club, pitching to a combined 3.00 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9. He’s made 36 appearances as a professional — all coming as a reliever. He was not ranked among the organization’s top 30 prospects.
It’s at least a moderate surprise to see the Rangers dealing away any international slot allocations, as Texas is not under any penalty for the 2018-19 signing period and is free to spend its pool as it wishes. The Rangers already catcher Jose Rodriguez and infielder Luisangel Acuna (the younger brother of Ronald Acuna) for a combined $2.45MM, and they’ve added at least 11 other international amateurs since the period opened, per Baseball America’s Ben Badler.
The Rangers opened the 2018-19 period with the standard bonus allotment of $4,983,500. The exact amounts of their signings to date haven’t all been reported, nor has the size of the allotment they’re sending to Kansas City, so it’s not known exactly how much Texas has remaining. Under the collective bargaining agreement, international allotments must be traded in $250K increments (though clubs can send under $250K to complete a deal if they have less than $250K remaining).