Twins To Sign Top Dominican Shortstop

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The International Signing Bonus Pools were announced last week, and the Twins ranked near the top with available money. Coming in just under $4 million, they may not actually have enough for the player they are looking to sign however. Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs is reporting that the Twins have a deal in place with 16-year-old shortstop Wander Javier, for $4 million.

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Teams are not able to sign players until the July 2 signing period opens up, but McDaniel makes it sound as though the Twins have agreed to a deal in principle with the young shortstop. He notes that the $4 million figure would slot in as the highest amount ever paid to a shortstop as a July 2nd bonus.

Minnesota would go over the International Bonus allotment should they sign Javier for $4 million. A likely workaround for this would be the Twins completing a few trades to increase their pool to somewhere around $6 million. The Twins aren’t a team that would typically like to pay the hit on going above the pool, and it seems unlikely that Javier would be the only prospect they would sign to a deal. Increasing their pool to $6 million would allow just around $2 million to allocate towards signing other players.

The Twins haven’t spent the kind of money being talked about in connection with Wander Javier since they inked Miguel Sano to a deal. Recently, the Twins have been very solid in their international signings bringing in players like Amaurys Minier, Max Kepler, and Lewis Thorpe.

Looking at Javier, here is what McDaniel had to say about him:

"Javier is the kind of player you typically see near the top of July 2nd bonus lists. He’s a 6’0, lanky shortstop with easy actions and an above average arm with an ability to stick at the position. Javier ran a 7.01 in the 60 last month, a 50 run time on the 20-80 scale, but he’s the type of kid who will probably gain a step in the next few years; Royals SS Raul Mondesi is an example of similar prospect who gained a couple of steps after he signed. Javier ran a 6.76 for me in October, so 55 speed is clearly in the tank.Javier flashes average raw power that may even be a tick better than that depending how his body develops and he flashes some ability to show that tool in games. In the first half of the video, from last month, Javier was just okay offensively, getting off-balance and swinging and missing more than expected. In the second half of the video, from October, Javier is more relaxed with better timing. While his mechanics still aren’t perfect, his feel for hitting took over when his hitting actions were more compact. This isn’t to say that Javier is trending down, just pointing out how one bad event could change a scout’s projection if he didn’t have history with the player. This type of variance is common with young players and is fixable.Javier is widely believed to have a deal with the Twins for $4.0 million, which I believe would be the highest July 2nd bonus of all-time for a shortstop. The Twins’ pool is just under $4.0 million, which means trades could push it to nearly $6 million, so they could easily stay under after a Javier signing, with just one minor trade to add more pool space."

Check out the video below to see Wander Javier in action, and stay tuned as July 2nd rolls around to see if the Twins follow through on the report.

Next: International Bonus Pools Announced

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