There are always a few deadline trades made for clerical reasons rather than with a pennant race in mind. This is one of them:
RHP Nate Jones
$1 million in international bonus space
The oft-injured Jones, who has a 2020 team option and a mutual option for 2021, will be on the shelf for the rest of 2019 due to forearm surgery performed in late May. It’s possible that a surprisingly competitive Rangers club will keep Jones around in the hopes that his stuff returns from yet another injury. More likely, Texas’ 40-man situation will lead them to decline his option.
This trade was made for the international bonus slot. The Rangers have yet to announce the signing of teenage outfielder Bayron Lora, our fifth-ranked 2019 International Prospect, who we project to sign for about $4.2 million. This deal helps facilitate that deal’s completion.
There may be a market for international bonus slots today, as there are a couple of good Cuban players who recently left the country and may be cleared to sign deals at some point during the 2019-2020 signing period, which ends in June. Because most teams have already allocated their entire spending pool to players they signed right when the current period began, clubs with interest in 18-year-old righty Norge Vera (well built, 6-foot-6, 91-94, four pitches) or OF Yoelkis Cespedes (Yoenis’ brother, barrel-chested build, loud tools including an 80 arm, erratic at-bats) may need to acquire pool space (by rule, teams can acquire 50% of their original pool amount) to pursue either, or to chase Taiwanese righty Po-Yu Chen, who we don’t believe has a deal yet.
The two players being sent back to the White Sox, Jarneski and Castro, are long shot prospects. Castro is a 22-year-old in the DSL; his fastball sits in the mid-to-upper-80s. Jarneski’s fastball touches 91 and also sits about 86-89, though he has some breaking ball feel and is coming off Tommy John.
Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.