It’s the weekend, Athletics Nation!
Yesterday, 19-year-old Cuban pitcher Luis Morales was instated as a free agent by MLB after defecting. This means that teams are free to court him using their international bonus pool money, and sign Morales for the 2023 season and beyond.
The A’s being the name most attached to Morales is only somewhat surprising. According to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, Morales is set to command the highest bonus for a pitcher since spending was initially capped with the bonus pool system. The Oakland A’s look to continue taking advantage of the international market, following the early 2012 signing of fellow Cuban, Yoenis Cespedes, and 2008’s record payout to Michael Ynoa. McDaniel notes that the true courtship for Morales will likely be put aside until January 15 2023, when the bonus spending pools refresh.
In 2022, the A’s are members of the $5,179,700 pool, along with 13 other teams. Much of their pool money would then be set to be sent Morales’ way, compared to teams like the Royals and Pirates in the richest pool with over $6M to spend.
Morales has been playing with the U-23 Cuban National team and appeared in 11 games for the Gallos de Sancti Spiritus of the Cuban National Series in 2021 with 58 strikeouts over 42.1 innings. If the A’s do pull off signing Morales, we will have a great opportunity to get a better look when he would hit the A’s farm next year.
Roster Moves, Transactions, and Injuries
- Skye Bolt to 10-IL, Norge Ruiz to AAA, Jared Koenig and Dermis Garcia called up
- Honeywell Jr nearly done rehabbing in AAA, A’s aim for a bullpen role
- Brener: Game #127: New York Yankees vs Oakland Athletics
- McDaniel: Cuban teen Luis Morales declared free agent by MLB, expected to get record bonus for a pitcher, source confirms
- Nowels: Oakland A’s considered ‘heavy favorites’ to land coveted young Cuban pitcher, per reports
- Thanwalla: Report: A’s ‘heavy favorites’ to sign Cuban prospect Morales
- Goodman: JP Sears Excited to Face Former Team After ‘Surprising’ Trade
- Kawahara: A’s shallow depth takes literal hit as Skye Bolt lands on IL after HBP ($)
MLB News & Interest
- Passan: Seattle Mariners, Julio Rodriguez finalizing long-term extension that could max out at $470 million, sources confirm
- Brock: Mariners, Julio Rodríguez agree to potentially record-breaking contract ($)
- Syzmborski: The M’s and Julio Rodríguez Write the Most Expensive Choose Your Own Adventure Book Ever
- Rosenthal: Rod Carew has something to say on the state of baseball. And he said it to Rob Manfred. ($)
- Gonzalez: Adidas terminates partnership with San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. after PED suspension
- Sarris: How does Covid impact MLB players’ performance? What athletes, trainers and the stats say ($)
- Rogers: ‘He’s the GOAT’: What it’s like watching Albert Pujols become Albert Pujols again
- Clemens: Why Don’t Soft Liners Get Any Respect?
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
A’s stay repping the bay
Vogt is out there helping folks
“It’s very near and dear to our family’s heart.”— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 27, 2022
Today, Stephen Vogt and his family made a visit to the Ronald McDonald House to serve meals and activity kits to patients and their families. pic.twitter.com/b6HGG8UC5W
One of those absolutely ridiculous stats
Almost nine years later and Bonds still has 28 more intentional walks than the Rays franchise. https://t.co/S0Ds0MHddj— Jim Passon (@PassonJim) August 26, 2022
It’ll be great to see a bunch of the 2002 crew today on the field
Members of the 2002 A's expected on hand for Sunday's ceremony honoring the 20-win streak team, per A's (Scott Hatteberg and Art Howe will address the crowd and Miguel Tejada will throw out the first pitch to Hatteberg): pic.twitter.com/kppBZvg5K2— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) August 26, 2022
Some pretty niche position-player-pitching info
Sheldon Neuse was once a closer (and a good one) at Oklahoma, where he threw considerably harder than the 50-mph he's averaged in his 32 pitches this season. He also was traded for Sean Doolittle and has a career MLB ERA of 0.00. pic.twitter.com/vs81M0w5mU— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) August 26, 2022