12:49pm: The Marlins added $500K in spending capacity to their coffers in today’s swap, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter).
11:04am: The Marlins and Astros have officially struck a deal that will send yet more international bonus pool availability to the Miami organization, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro first reported (via Twitter). Houston will receive a pair of prospects — outfielder Adonis Giron and lefty Brayan De Paula — in the swap.
It is not yet known how much spending capacity will flow to the Marlins in this deal. Per another Frisaro tweet, though, the Fish believe they’ve now got deeper pockets to work with than do the Orioles — the other primary competitor for the top international amateur talent left for bidding in the current signing period.
At last glance, the Marlins had moved past $6MM in pool space after yet another swap. The club needed to pick up over $2MM in funds to exceed the $6.7MM the Orioles were believed to be working with. Bonus pool availability — which sets a hard cap on spending — can only be dealt in $250K increments. Teams are limited to adding 75% of their starting allocation.
The remaining international market is widely said to offer three top prizes, all of whom evidently are objects of the Marlins’ and Orioles’ affections. Victor Victor Mesa is generally viewed as the best player available, with his younger brother Victor Mesa Jr. and righty Sandy Gaston also graded as intriguing young assets. Each member of this trio of Cubans is subject to international spending limitations.
Much like the other teams that have struck deals of late with the Marlins — the Nationals and Reds — the Astros weren’t able to put their existing international pool space to full use. By virtue of prior spending penalties, imposed under the prior rules regime, the Houston organization was barred from spending more than #400K on any given player.
The ’Stros, then, decided instead to use that availability to pick up a pair of youthful players — recent international signees themselves. The 17-year-old Giron spent the year with the Marlins’ Dominican Summer League entrant, slashing .255/.331/.362 in 275 plate appearances. He previously inked for $350K, with a reputedly intriguing bat. De Paula, 19, also appeared on the DSL roster for a second consecutive year, spinning 44 1/3 innings of 2.23 ERA ball with 9.1 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.