Associated Press

Angels sign former Braves prospect Kevin Maitan

Leave a comment

The prospects the Atlanta Braves were forced to release in the wake of their international signing scandal are starting to find new teams. Two of the best joined new teams today.

Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Angels have signed former shortstop Kevin Maitan. Maitan was the biggest name of the Braves former prospects, having received a $4.25 million bonus as the top prospect in the 2016 international class. He batted just .241/.290/.340 with two homers and 18 RBI over 42 games in rookie ball this season, which was seen as a bit of a disappointment, but the Angels will happily take a chance on his future.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the deal is worth $2.2 million, though the Angels can allocate that money from next year’s bonus pool, per MLB’s ruling on the Braves a few weeks back. That will leave them money in this year’s pool to continue their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani.

Sanchez also reports that the Royals have signed former Braves pitcher Yefri Del Rosario for a $650,000 bonus. Rosario, 18, pitched in the Dominican Summer League last year and posted a 1.80 ERA in two starts and for the Braves Gulf Coast League team, sporting a 3.90 ERA in 11 games. Del Rosario reportedly chose the Royals over teams offering more money because he idolized the late Yordano Ventura and wished to play for his team. Which, pardon me for a second, it’s gettin’ a bit dusty in here.

In all, the Braves lost 12 players they had under contract, and lost the rights to another with whom they had a tentative agreement. Expect all of them to soon sign with other clubs.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

Getty Images
15 Comments

Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.