Though not as exciting as the signing the Angels just made, the Twins reportedly have made a deal of their own with former Braves prospect Yunior Severino. Severino, 18, is a switch-hitting second baseman from the Dominican Republic, and largely considered the second best of the prospects the Braves were forced to give up this year for being naughty. The best of those prospects was Kevin Maitan, who the Twins had tried to sign, but he went with the Angels instead for less money. Real talk: Why does everyone want to play charity for the Angeles all of a sudden?
Anyway, the Severino deal includes a $2.5 million signing bonus, which is significant for a couple of reasons. First, the amount shows that the money is coming from the 2018-2019 international signing bonus pool instead of this year’s, because it’s more than the $1.25 million the Twins still have left this year. Teams are allowed to use money from this year’s pool or next year’s pools to sign the former Braves prospects, but they can’t split between both pools. Hence, the Twins still have $1.25 million left to spend or trade this year.
Second, the $2.5 million bonus is bigger than both the bonus the Angels signed Kevin Maitan with ($2.2 million) and the original bonus Severino got from the Braves ($1.9 million, and yes, he gets to keep that in addition to his new bonus from the Twins).
Why did Severino suddenly get more expensive? Because he did pretty good this summer in his first year of professional baseball, duh. In the 58 total games he played in between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast Rookie League in 2017, Severino hit .270/.345/.420 with three home runs, three triples, and 19 doubles.
Here’s what our friends over at Talking Chop said about Severino last month:
Another switch hitter - Severino was slapped with a 50 hit and 50 power tool at just 18 years of age. Severino projected as a perhaps offensively gifted second baseman with good, but not great defense.
Severino will likely crack the Twins’ top 20 prospects, and probably start off next season playing in the Appalachian Rookie League.
The Twins still have $1.25 million in international signing bonus money they can use this year to sign more international prospects, or potentially trade away to other teams — though, with Shohei Ohtani now off the table, it’s unclear how much demand there is for it.