The Twins have acquired $750K in international bonus pool space from the Orioles for right-hander Xavier Moore, per Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press. This is the second trade of the day involving Moore, whom the Twins acquired from the Rangers a couple hours ago for outfielder Zack Granite.
The Orioles have now traded away international spending room in back-to-back weekends, having previously sent an undisclosed amount to the Rangers for righty David Lebron last Sunday. It’s unexpected on the surface, as Baltimore has recently vowed to spend more internationally after long ignoring the foreign market under owner Peter Angelos. His sons are now at the helm of the team, and they’ve brought in Mike Elias to replace previous general manager Dan Duquette, but the act of parting with international money for relatively unexciting minor leaguers harks back to the prior regime.
Of course, even after these deals, the Orioles continue to lead the majors in international spending capacity. Thus, they could see these trades as easy ways to pick up minor league talent they like while continuing to hold the league’s largest bonus pool. It’s unclear how much the Orioles have left at the moment, but they had $6MM remaining – far more than the second-place Dodgers ($1.4MM) – before the Lebron and Moore acquisitions. With that in mind, the Orioles could still be in on Cuban shortstop Yolbert Sanchez, whom they’ve scouted since he became free to sign with a major league team Feb. 5.
In Moore, the Twins are quickly bidding adieu to a 20-year-old who struggled at the lower levels of the Rangers’ system a season ago. By flipping him, the Twins are adding a notable amount to their bonus pool, as they had just under $80K remaining as of Feb. 8. Minnesota entered the current international market with upward of $6MM to play with, but it has since gone on a spending spree, with outfielder Misael Urbina ($2.75MM) being its most expensive pickup.