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Make Room!: Phillies Trade International Bonus Slots With Arizona

Hello Jhailyn Ortiz.

This suit cost plenty, pal.
This suit cost plenty, pal.
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

So, the Phillies were in a bit of a money crunch, last we left our July 2 heroes. They had reportedly agreed to terms with one of the top Latin American prospects in Jhailyn Ortiz, as well as potentially surprisingly catcher Rafael Marchan, but Ortiz' bonus of 4.2 MM and Marchan's relatively modest 200 K would have put them over their bonus limit of ~3 MM dollars, and thereby would not only make them pay a bunch of tax money, but would've also made them ineligible for next year's July 2 prospects.

The Phillies solved that problem today by trading for the Diamondbacks' bonus slot, the highest overall, giving up their bonus slot (ninth overall) and minor league pitchers Chris Oliver and Josh Taylor. The exact bonus figures haven't been revealed yet, but MLBTR is guessing that the Phillies will see 2 MM more dollars in their bonus pool, which would definitely put them under the budget and allow them to sign Ortiz without compromising next year's crop of 16 year old Latin American prospects.

That said, they didn't get the slot for nothing. Chris Oliver was the Phillies' 4th round pick in 2014 and was seen as something of a potential steal if he could build on a disappointing pre-draft year. Sadly, he could not, and he's walked too many guys and struck out not enough down in Lakewood. So, he's fairly expendable to the organization.

The better prospect of the two is likely Josh Taylor, who was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Phillies. Taylor is 22, so he's old for his level at Lakewood, but he was still pitching fairly well, peripherally speaking, striking out 9.2 per nine and walking 3.2 per nine over 68 1/3 innings. Yes, those are good numbers, but two things to remember: 1) you need to actually give something up in trade, and 2) many a player has seemed an ace at 22 in Lakewood and ended up among the Tyler Cloyds of the world. So don't freak out.

Ultimately, friend of the site Matt Winkelman has the right of it, in my mind:

But, also, no matter what happens, we'll have this:

Ha ha ha ha Braves.