The Baltimore Orioles no longer have the most international bonus pool money in MLB and their chances to sign Cuban OF prospect Victor Victor Mesa seem to be dimming
The Baltimore Orioles were never the front-runners to sign Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa, but they had the most available money to spend in the international market, thus greatly improving their chances of signing him.
The Miami Marlins have always possessed more desirable non-baseball accommodations for Cuban baseball prospects, specifically Mesa and his brother, as a vibrant Cuban influence can be felt throughout the city of Miami.
Mesa would’ve always felt more at home in Miami than in Baltimore.
But until recently, the Orioles had the most international bonus pool money available in MLB. Being able to offer Mesa significantly more money than the Marlins was a big advantage for the Orioles.
However, the Marlins have made several moves over the past few months, slowly but surely increasing their available international pool money.
The Marlins latest trade on Tuesday afternoon sent minor-leaguers Brayan De Paula and Adonis Giron to the Houston Astros for $500,000 in bonus pool money, pushing the Marlins past the Orioles as the team with the most available money to spend this signing period.
So the Marlins now have two big, distinct advantages over the Orioles in the pursuit of Victor Victor Mesa: they have a more comfortable environment for him to develop in, and they have more money to offer.
This would seem to effectively take the Orioles out of the running for Mesa, who’s currently the top-rated international prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
The problem for the Orioles is that they can’t take that money home with them.
The hope is that the previous front office had scouted a handful of lower-tier international prospects in the case that they couldn’t sign Mesa. Otherwise, trading for international money at the deadline this year will have been for naught.
The Orioles have already signed several international prospects so far, including inking 16-year-old INF Moises Ramirez and 19-year-old RHP Carlos Del Rosario, both out of the Dominican Republic.
Those signings made by the Dan Duquette team marked the first foray into the international market by the Orioles in quite a few years.
Now that the Orioles are searching for new leadership within the organization, it’s unclear whether the team will continue the pursuit of international players or if they’ll return to their ways of ignoring them.
But one thing is certain; the Orioles aren’t getting any closer to signing Mesa, both because the Marlins now have more money to spend, and because of the lack of new leadership in the front office.