The Atlanta Braves are facing stiff penalties for the international prospect tampering scandal. It’s rumored that Braves prospect Kevin Maitan could become a free agent this off season as part of their penalty. Could the Milwaukee Brewers acquire Maitan?
Kevin Maitan was the top rated prospect coming out of Venezuela in 2016. It turns out, the Braves had a verbal deal with Maitan before the signing period. That’s a major rule violation, and it could result in the league voiding Maitan’s contract.
Why is Maitan intriguing?
He’s a 17-year old prospect that oozes potential. Maitan is a switch-hitter with the ability to hit for average and power from both sides. He stands about 6’2″, and has room to fill out. It’s unclear if he’s going to stick at shortstop or move to third, but he has the hands to develop into a quality defender. He’s currently rated as the #38 prospect in all of baseball.
How did he do last year?
In his first season playing in the US, Maitan didn’t produce very much. He posted a .241/.290/.340 slash line in 42 games at the Rookie level. Keep in mind that he hasn’t even turned 18 yet. There was a bit more swing and miss in his swing than scouts expected, but he’s still developing.
Could he really come to Milwaukee?
It’s unclear at this point. First, he needs to get out of his contract. It’s known that the Braves will suffer some sort of punishment for the scandal that occurred in 2016. They are sure to receive a hefty fine. However, it’s also likely that the Braves will have the contracts of several international prospects from their 2016 voided. If that happens, he’ll become a free agent.
Then, the Commissioner’s Office will have to decide how he can sign. Will he be subject to international signing pool money, or can he simply go to the highest bidder? It’s known that the Milwaukee Brewers have money to spend this off season. Adding a talent like Maitan without having to pay out of the international signing bonus pool is huge for the rebuild.
The only player who is sure to have all 30 teams calling is Shohei Ohtani. Maitan is sure to have the majority of teams making offers or at least doing their due diligence. The Milwaukee Brewers make the right calls, but blowing through their off season budget for a 17-year old shouldn’t happen. The Brewers need to add pitching before they look to spend on a guy who’s five years away.