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Twins void contract of Jalfry Marte, J-2 signee

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The Minnesota Twins voided the contract of their top J-2 signee

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers have $3.535 million available to spend from their international bonus pool on free agents, which up until today was thought to be the most that any team could spend for international free agents still remaining in the 2017-18 J-2 class. The most prominent of those free agents, of course, is Shohei Ohtani, and thus the Rangers would be in a position to pay him more than any other team to sign.

However, the Minnesota Twins have reportedly voided their contract with J-2 signee Jelfry Marte, who they had made a deal for $3 million with this summer. The Twins apparently raised issues with Marte’s vision that cropped up with Marte’s physical, which means that Marte is now a free agent again.

In addition, the Twins, who had the third highest pool available to them before this, at $3.245 million, now have an additional $3 million back into their pool. That gives them over $6 million to offer Ohtani, should they so choose. The Twins could also, should they determine that Ohtani won’t sign with them, trade some portion of their bonus pool space to another team, such as the Rangers or Yankees (who have the second most bonus pool remaining), which would allow them to offer more to Ohtani (though there are restrictions as to how much additional pool space you can acquire).

For the Rangers, the return of Marte to the free agent pool gives them a potential fallback option, should they not end up signing Ohtani. Ben Badler says in the article linked above that Cuban center fielder Julio Pablo Martinez is expected to be cleared to sign this spring, as well, which would be another option for Texas.

UPDATE — Okay, apparently the reason the Twins had $3.245 million in the first place available to spend was because of the voiding of the Marte contract. I’m seeing reports indicating that they got $3 million back, but they don’t have $3 million plus the $3.245 million. Thus, the third paragraph, and the original headline, are apparently wrong, so I’ve corrected/struck out. Sorry for the confusion.