Multiple sources are reporting that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed former Braves prospect Kevin Maitan. Maitan, 17, is considered the best among the group of prospects the Braves were forced to give up last month for breaking MLB’s international signing rules. According to Jesse Sanchez, Maitan will receive a $2.2 million signing bonus from the Angels, which he gets to keep in addition to the original $4.25 signing bonus he received from the Braves in 2016.
What does this mean for the Twins? Basically, just that they have one fewer option with what to do with their remaining international bonus pool money for the 2017-2018 signing season. The Twins currently have the third most cap money remaining with $3.25 million. Most of that money is due to the fact the Twins voided their contract with international signee Jelfrey Marte, who was going to receive a $3 million signing bonus.
It would have been nice if the Twins could have used the money to sign two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, but Ohtani already told the Twins he’s not coming to Minnesota. The Angels are one of the seven teams remaining in the Ohtani race, but spending the money on Maitan doesn’t matter for them — MLB made it so that teams can use money from this year’s pool or next year’s pool to sign the former Braves prospects.
The Twins could still sign one or more of the other prospects the Braves gave up, who include catcher Abrahan Gutierrez; infielders Yunior Severino, Yenci Peña, Ji-Hwan Bae, Robert Puason, and
Livan Soto; and pitchers Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, and Guillermo Zuniga. They could also decided to re-sign Marte with a smaller signing bonus, or some other international prospect who hasn’t yet signed (though by now, the pickings are a bit slim).
Of course, there’s always the option of trading some of the $3.25 million remaining cap money to another team, but it’s unclear how much it’s in demand at this point. Teams can use cap money from next year’s pool to sign the former Braves prospects, and only seven teams are still in the running to get Ohtani, who doesn’t seem to care about money anyway. Hopefully Derek Falvey and Thad Levine can find a creative answer.
UPDATE [12:55 pm CT]:
According to Jesse Sanchez, the Angels also signed former Braves prospect Livan Soto with a $850K signing bonus.