News broke late Wednesday night that the Twins traded $1 million in international bonus pool money to the Mariners to acquire catcher David Banuelos. Banuelos, 21, was a 5th round pick by the Mariners in the 2017 MLB draft.
This trade is notable because SOMETHING FINALLY HAPPENED THIS OFFSEASON!!!!! But seriously, this offseason has been completely dead all around MLB as teams wait to see where Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani and Marlins, uh, outcast Giancarlo Stanton end up. The Mariners, for what it’s worth, are one of the seven teams still in the running to obtain Ohtani, so acquiring this international signing money from the Twins is probably an effort to help boost their chances at that. Most of the money Ohtani gets, initially, will be in the form of an international signing bonus.
As for Banuelos — he seems like a pretty solid pick up that will add some much needed depth to the Twins’ catching. According to his Long Beach State biography, he sounds like a strong defensive guy with good on-base ability. Last year in the Northwest short-season A league, he hit .236/.331/.394 with four home runs in 36 games. Sounds good to me for a 21-year-old catcher!
Having given up $1 million in international cap money for Banuelos, the Twins now have $2.25 million remaining that they can spend on other international prospects or trade to other teams.
Whether the Twins will be able to sign more guys or trade more of that cap money remains to be seen.