Yesterday the Rays officially signed international star prospect Jelfry Marte, as first reported during the Winter Meetings. The No. 3 ranked international, behind Ohtani and other Rays signee Wander Franco, previously had his contract with the Twins voided due to vision problems in his left eye, and more information is just now coming to light.
Twins writer Mike Berardino previously reported that, “According to a person with direct knowledge, Marte's issue was significantly weaker vision in his left eye. With contact lenses, the vision in that eye could be improved only to 20/25.” This led to the $3 million contract being voided.
Once he was made a free agent, it would seem the Rays were able to land the prospect for significantly less money on the strength of their reputation in the international market.
Accordingly, Neil Solondz has another edition of ‘This Week in Rays Baseball’ out, where MLB.com international prospects expert Jesse Sanchez went deep on the recent Rays signee, Jelfry Marte, as well as the Rays other signings on the international market and discussed how the Rays stand out in the market as an ideal destination.
Otherwise, the Tampa Bay Rays slow off-season continues as the team is still shrouded in numerous trade rumors and speculation revolving around their franchise centerpiece, Evan Longoria, as well as All-Star closer, Alex Colome.
It is inevitable that a trade will be made, but as to when one will come to fruition is anyone’s guess.
Last night, Marc Topkin caused everyone a few seconds of anxiety and excitement as he stated the Rays were making a trade. A few minutes later, he tweeted the Rays had traded C Jonah Heim to the Oakland Athletics to complete the Joey Wendle trade that was made during the winter meetings.
- Derek Jeter held a town hall meeting with several of the Marlins faithful where he answered questions on a variety of topics surrounding the team. Most notable were those from ‘Marlins Man’ in which MM did everything he could to promote himself.
- Tim Lincecum is looking to make another comeback and he was spotted looking ripped at a training facility
- Cole Hamels donated a nearly $10M mansion to charity
- Baseball America interviewed Pat O’Conner, the President of Minor League Baseball and the topic of minor leaguers wages came up