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Rafael Palmeiro, 54, signs an independent league contract

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Back in December, Rafael Palmeiro, who last played major league baseball in 2005, told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he was thinking about trying to return to the majors. We all had a laugh — it was a very Uncle Rico-in-“Napoleon Dynamite”-kind of deal — but, obviously, that was and is never going to happen.

Palmeiro is now 54 and he still wants to play baseball. He’s just a lot more realistic about it than he was a few months back. From the Dallas Morning News:

Palmeiro said Tuesday night that he had agreed to play for the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association where he will team with his oldest son, Patrick. Cleburne is scheduled to open it’s season on May 18 against the Winnipeg Gold Eyes.

For what it’s worth, Cleburne is about 40 miles south of Fort Worth.

This is not the first time Palmeiro has suited up to play with his son. Back in 2015 he played for the indy Sugar Land Skeeters.

He’s not hurting anyone. Heck, he’s probably helping the Cleburne Railroaders.

The Marlins made another trade for international bonus pool money

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The Miami Marlins’ primary offseason goal thus far appears to be acquiring as much international bonus pool money as possible. Last week they traded their closer to the Nationals to get some. This morning they traded a couple of low-level prospects to the Astros to get more. Specifically, they traded lefty reliever Brayan de Paula and outfielder Adonis Giron to Houston for an unknown amount of slot money.

De Paula, 19, has pitched in the Dominican Summer League for the past two seasons while posting a 3.05 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio over 59 innings. Giron, 17, has one season of Dominican Summer League experience under his belt, where he hit .255/.331/.362 with three homers in 67 games.

The Marlins have made no secret of the fact that they’re after top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa and, possibly, his younger brother, Victor Mesa, Jr., which would explain the stockpiling of bonus money.