Marlins pass O's in int'l bonus money after trade

Club deals prospects Giron, De Paula to Houston, with eye on signing three Cuban prospects

October 16th, 2018

MIAMI -- With their sights set on signing three coveted Cuban prospects, the Marlins on Tuesday made yet another trade to increase their chances, dealing Minor Leaguers Adonis Giron and Brayan De Paula to the Astros for $500,000 in international bonus pool money, according to a source.

The latest trade puts the Marlins in a more favorable position to sign Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston. A few weeks ago, MLB granted free agency to all three, and they are eligible to sign at any time.

Miami has been taking steps to make a clean sweep on all three.

Giron, 17, is an outfielder, and De Paula, 19, is a left-handed pitcher. Both spent 2018 with the Marlins' Dominican Summer League squad.

In the past 10 days, the Marlins have completed three separate trades to boost their international bonus pool allotment.

On Oct. 6, right-handed pitching prospect Ryan Lillie was dealt to the Reds for $750,000, and on Oct. 10, reliever was sent to the Nationals for $1 million.

Before the three trades, the Marlins had the second-most international bonus pool money available at $4.3 million. Only the Orioles, with $6.7 million, have had more. But Tuesday's trade is believed to have pushed the Marlins' figure to above the Orioles'.

Before the Hot Stove season heats up after the World Series, the Marlins have made their immediate offseason priority to increase their international resources.

The Mesa brothers are both outfielders, with Victor Victor, 22, being ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top player on the international market. Gaston, 16, is a right-hander rated No. 16. Victor Jr. is 17 years old.

Earlier this month, the three had a showcase at Marlins Park, where around 75 scouts attended.

The Marlins have made it clear they intend to be active on the international market, and are selling the fact that Miami, with its large Cuban community, is a natural fit for the Mesa brothers and Gaston.

Giron had a slash line of .255/.331/.362 with three home runs and 30 RBIs, and De Paula posted a 2.23 ERA in 15 games with four starts.