There has been a lot of speculation about the Rays shopping B.J. Upton. He was a hot topic at the trade deadline and now, since the season has ended, many people think the Rays are willing to deal him.
But maybe not that willing. Buster Olney tweets that the Rays would have to be “overwhelmed” by an offer in order to give him up. Which seems a bit odd given that, with Desmond Jennings in the fold, Tampa Bay could easily afford to lose Upton. And given that he’s due a raise in his final year of arbitration, actually affording him would seem to be a legitimate concern.
But really, what are they gonna say? “Eh, we’ll trade him. Got anything decent? No? Well, um, OK.”
The Miami Marlins have been stockpiling international bonus money of late and now that has paid off, as they just formally announced the signing of top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.
They have also signed his brother, the less-regarded prospect Victor Mesa, Jr. It was, presumably, a package deal. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Victor Victor, 22, will receive about $5.25 million while his 17-year-old brother gets a $1 million bonus.
Victor Victor was ranked as the No. 1 player in this year’s international signing class. He’s a plus outfield defender with a strong arm and he has serious wheels as well. He played for Matanzas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional when he was only 16 and was 3-for-7 with two doubles for Cuba during last year’s World Baseball Classic.
Victor Mesa Jr. is a switch-hitting outfielder with potential, but unlike his brother, he’s like to spend considerable time in the minors. Most scouts believe Victor Victor will debut with the Marlins as early as next season.
The Mesa brothers are the son of Victor Mesa, who played in Serie Nacional from the 1970’s into the 1990s and starred on the Cuban national team. He has also managed in Cuba, in Mexico and for Cuba’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team.