Marte still in play for Twins after voided deal

Minnesota nullified contract with 16-year-old shortstop because of vision issues

December 8th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite voiding top prospect Jelfry Marte's $3 million deal because of vision issues, the Twins still have interest in signing the 16-year-old Dominican shortstop, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

Marte, ranked by as the No. 3 prospect in this year's international class, was considered the jewel of Minnesota's international signings, receiving the third-largest signing bonus among all international prospects.

But complications with his vision caused the Twins to void his contract on Nov. 15, which led to the club having the third-most international bonus pool available to offer Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani. After the Twins were notified they weren't a finalist for Ohtani, they used that excess money to trade $1 million to the Mariners for catching prospect David Banuelos and $1 million to the Angels for outfield prospect Jacob Pearson on Wednesday.

The Twins still have $1.25 million left in their bonus pool, which is more than enough to sign Marte, who still has a good relationship with the organization. The 16-year-old is talking to other clubs, but his vision issues will preclude him from signing a large deal.

Minnesota could also still look to trade more international bonus pool money to clubs still in the Ohtani sweepstakes. The top international prospects mostly all signed on July 2, so trading excess money for prospects is a smart way to acquire legitimate talent.