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Reports: Twins splash out $3M on Dominican shortstop prospect

The Twins are loading up on shortstops.
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The Twins have splashed the cash on a 16-year-old shortstop prospect from the Dominican Republic, reports say.

MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports the Twins have inked a $3 million deal for Jelfry Marte, who ranks No. 3 on MLB.com's international prospect market rankings this year.

Sunday marked the first day of the international free agency period, and if Marte joins he would follow in the footsteps of Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler (in 2009) as being signed on the first day of free agency, according to ESPN.

And ESPN notes the Twins appear to be loading up on shortstops. They signed prospect Wandier Javier, also an international free agent, in 2015, and in the 2017 MLB draft selected high school shortstop Royce Lewis at No. 1.

While he's third on MLB's prospect list, CBS reports Baseball America has him ranked at No. 13, describing him as having outstanding defensive abilities and is a good runner, though "is not a lock to still be a major threat on the bases" when he makes it to the big leagues.

The Pioneer Press says the Twins have a $5.25 million international cap, noting they're going to try and sign their next two highest-rated targets – Venezualan outfield Carlos Aguilar and Dominican Mauro Bonifacio – in August.

The newspaper has more details on Marte, Aguilar and Bonifacio here.

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