For the second time in the past few days, the Baltimore Orioles have traded away international bonus money.
Immediately before the first pitch of Sunday’s spring training game against the Detroit Tigers, MASNsports.com Roch Kubatko announced that the Baltimore Orioles have made a trade with the Minnesota Twins. The O’s are sending international bonus pool money to Minnesota in exchange for RHP Xavier Moore.
Last week, the Baltimore Orioles sent international bonus pool money to the Texas Rangers for RHP David Lebron, following that up by sending $750,000 to Minnesota for Moore, a 20-year-old former 16th-round pick of the Rangers.
While the organization has emphasized its desire to spend internationally, general manager Mike Elias has also stated on multiple occasions that he isn’t going to spend money just to spend money. Even after these two recent trades, the Baltimore Orioles continue to have more bonus pool money than any other organization. Yolbert Sanchez remains a target for the O’s as they acquire a lottery ticket arm to a system who can always use more pitchers.
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Xavier Moore woke up this morning as a member of the Texas Rangers organization, went to Sunday brunch as a Minnesota Twin, and will now get to enjoy a crab dinner in honor of becoming part of the Baltimore Orioles. Minnesota sent utility man Zack Granite to Texas for Moore, immediately flipping him to Baltimore for international dollars, completing a busy day for the right-hander out of Ohio.
Moore pitched across two levels last season (Rookie, short-season A-ball), recording a 5.30 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts in 18.2 innings of work.
A former Ohio State commit, Land Grant Holy Land, a website dedicated to the Ohio State Buckeyes, had this to say about Moore,
"“wiry-athletic frame, long limbs, wider shoulders, plenty of room for physical development,” sits in the low-90s with his fastball, and can touch the mid-90s. He also possesses a sweeping slider and a splitter, and PBR notes “with his frame and athleticism, it’s easy to dream on more velocity in the coming years.”"
He’s only 20 years old but has produced a high percentage of strikeouts through the lower levels of the minors. Based on his age and experience last season, Moore will likely be assigned to the Aberdeen Ironbirds, the short-season affiliate of the Orioles, or the Delmarva Shorebirds.
“But what about spending on international free agents? I thought this was a new regime!” There’s plenty of money left in the pool and not a lot of big talent left on the current market. Austin Hays just sent a 3-2 pitch deep over the left field fence, so back to listening to Gary Thorne call a little spring training baseball.