The Pittsburgh Pirates and general manager Ben Cherington are already putting the return from the Austin Hedges trade to use
The Pittsburgh Pirates traded veteran backstop Austin Hedges to the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline. Hedges only netted the Pirates international bonus pool spending, which allows them to spend more on amateur international talent.
The Pirates and general manager Ben Cherignton have previously been highly aggressive when going after international players, and they’re already putting the Hedges trade to work.
One of the players the Pirates have already signed is Anthony Sosa. Nephew to the infamous Sammy Sosa, Anthony is a shortstop/outfielder and is currently just 16 years old. Sosa was signed to a $100,000 bonus. There’s not much information out there about Sosa, and even his height and weight are hard to come by. However, it shows the Pirates are going to be aggressive in international free agency once again.
The Pirates have also signed outfielder Bralyn Brazoban. Brazoban is a projectable and athletic 6’1”, 180 pound outfielder. Brazoban has displayed a potential above-average hit tool, showing off good plate recognition. He’s also shown good line drive power, but given his age and projectability, he could add more over-the-fence power as he develops. Brazoban is also a solid defender, having shown off an extremely accurate arm, and the potential to stick in center field.
Brazoban is ranked as one of the top international players from this year’s class. Perfect Game considered him the third best Dominican prospect in the summer of 2022. Meanwhile, MLB Pipeline is also bullish on him, ranking him as the 38th best overall amateur prospect in this year’s international class.
(Note that both Brazoban and Sosa’s signings were reported by Hector Gomez)
This is reminiscent of a few years ago when the Pirates got international pool money from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for center fielder Jarrod Dyson. Dyson, like Hedges, was a glove-only player, but the Pirates were still able to flip him for something. A good portion of the pool money they got from the White Sox was used to sign Po-Yu Chen.
Both Sosa and Brazoban are still extremely young and years away from even being considered for a promotion to the upper levels of the minor leagues if they make it that far (unless they take an Ethan Salas like road to the show, which is unlikely). But the Pirates are once again being aggressive in amateur international free agency, and both Sosa and Brazoban may not have been signed this early by the Pirates had they not traded Hedges.