Angels sign former Braves prospect Kevin Maitan

Associated Press
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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.

Mariners get 2B Kolten Wong from Brewers for Winker, Toro

Kolten Wong
USA Today
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SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners acquired second baseman Kolten Wong from the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday in a trade for outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro.

Seattle also receives cash as part of the deal. ESPN reported the Brewers would be sending the Mariners about $1.75 million.

Milwaukee has been shedding payroll this offseason after going 86-76 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The Brewers picked up the $10 million team option on Wong’s contract for 2023 last month, then traded him away.

Wong, 32, batted .251 this season and had a career-best 15 homers to go with 47 RBIs and 17 steals in 134 games. He had a .339 on-base percentage and .430 slugging percentage.

But the two-time Gold Glove winner had an uncharacteristically tough season in the field with 17 errors to match his career high.

After ending a 21-year playoff drought, adding a second baseman had been one of the Mariners’ chief offseason objectives. Wong was Milwaukee’s starting second baseman for the last two years after spending his first eight seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Winker gives the Brewers a power-hitting outfielder to help replace Hunter Renfroe, traded to the Los Angeles Angels last week.

The 29-year-old Winker hit .219 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs in 136 games for Seattle in 2022 after playing five seasons in the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds. He batted .305 with a .394 on-base percentage, .556 slugging percentage, 24 homers and 71 RBIs in 110 games with Cincinnati in 2021, when he was a National League All-Star.

Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said after the season Winker had surgery on his left knee and was expected to undergo another operation to repair an issue with his neck.

Toro, who turns 26 on Dec. 20, hit .185 with a .239 on-base percentage, 10 homers and 35 RBIs in 109 games this past season.