Dr. D wasn't even clear about what an "International Bonus Slot" was, much less that it is a fungible commodity that can be swapped for baseball players ... Baseball America says,
The main number that matters for a team is its total signing bonus pool, which it is free to spend however it wants, with penalties in place for going over. Major League Baseball arrives at the bonus pools by giving each team a $700,000 base along with four “slot values,” which are tiered from No. 1 ($3,300,900) through No. 120 ($137,600).
So the Cubs give the Mariners a draft pick, as it were. We're not told whether it's a #1 pick or a #4 pick. From what we can gather, the #1 slot is worth like $2-3M and then the #2, #3, and #4 picks are all worth like $400k apiece. That would make sense to us casual ammy-draft fans, since the first 20-30 international players each year are "name" players and then it looks like a dumpster dive from there.
If that means that the M's got back a #2 or #3 or #4 slot, they gave Jackson to the Cubs for (next to) nothing, which means they can't QO him and recover a compensation (first-round extended) pick in the real ammy draft.
If THAT means that the M's did not want to risk a "dangerous" QO on Austin Jackson, whose agent is Scott Boras and who will not be interested in a 1-year contract, then --- > the M's just moved the dial way, wayyyy over to Brad Miller and Ketel Marte.
Very understandable that the M's want a long look at Miller defensively. (Dr. D's look at Miller in CF, so far, has Miller as quite disoriented out there.) But is 30 games' looky-loo at Miller worth a #40 pick in the amateur draft? That's a disconnect for me. One of you brighter guys can 'splain it, we hope.
As of right now, the Mariner center fielder IS Brad Miller. And that means their shortstop IS Ketel Marte. (If you invert that, fine, no biggie.)
The other night, the M's pulled Miller out of CF for a pinch-hitter and then Ketel Marte came out with an owie. This meant that Kyle Seager played short for a couple of innings, and John Hicks (!!) played 3B for the first time since he was 17 years old.
This, in turn, was a swipe against the idea that ML managers have to be super-precious about using their backup catchers to DH, and the like. It's a baseball game, and you give a baseball player a glove, and he can go cover 3B over there like he covers 1B over here. ... Billy Beane will play Jack Cust in center field if that's what circumstances lead to. We don't have to be SO precious about defense if we don't want to.
That said, it's kind of fun to watch Brad Miller fight the elements in center. He's one of my faves, and still holds down the "Great White Whale" prospect of a 4-5 WAR player making peanuts. He's about as natural in CF as he would be playing striker in the Premier League, but he's got a long stride and he's a baseball player. It will be great watching him from the 3rd deck the rest of the year.