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Marlins acquire international signing pool money from Astros for two minor-leaguers

The Marlins’ pursuit of the Mesa brothers gets another boost.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The Marlins have acquired $500,000 in international bonus pool money from the Astros in exchange for minor-league outfielder Adonis Giron and left-handed pitching prospect Brayan de Paula, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro and Mark Feinsand first reported on Tuesday:

Giron, 17, just finished his first professional season with the Marlins’ Dominican Summer League club. The right-handed hitter posted a .255/.331/.362 with three homers over 67 games. The 19-year-old de Paula threw for a 2.23 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP over 15 games (four starts) for that same DSL team. He experienced rather noticeable growth from his first professional season, 2017, during which he posted a 5.52 ERA over 14.2 late-season innings. As is almost always the case with teenaged DSL prospects, neither Giron or de Paula was ranked among MLB.com’s top 30 Marlins prospects.

The biggest aspect of this deal, clearly, is that the Marlins are loading up on international cap space in hopes of signing an elite amateur free agent — 22-year-old Cuban defector Victor Victor Mesa is almost surely their top target and is talented enough to potentially make an impact in the major leagues next season. His 17-year-old brother, Victor Mesa Jr., could also be part of a package deal if Miami ends up reeling him in, and with Mesa Jr. being a rather highly-regarded prospect himself, that extra international money could help make that multi-player acquisition a reality.

This is the second move of this nature that the Marlins have made this month, as they dealt reliever Kyle Barraclough — who was believed to be highly-coveted by other teams as recently as this year’s trade deadline — to the Nationals in exchange for international signing money on October 10. That trade combined with this one should give the Marlins a clear financial advantage over the Orioles, who have made a recent effort to increase their involvement in the international market (in other words, an ascension from the ground floor). In addition to the fact that the Mesa brothers would be closer to home in Miami or with any of the Marlins’ minor-league affiliates than they would be in the Orioles organization, Miami may be in a better position to recruit them since they already have a clearly defined front-office structure, while Baltimore is currently in the midst of conducting general manager interviews following the dismissal of Dan Duquette.