The Phillies made a minor trade Wednesday, sending right-handed reliever Ricardo Pinto to the White Sox in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.
What does that mean?
Teams begin each season with $4.75 million to spend during the international signing period. But teams classified as small market or small revenue get either $5.25 million or $5.75 million. The Phillies fit into neither category, so they start with the lower $4.75 million figure.
This trade gives the Phils more to spend on international free agents. Teams can add up to 75 percent of their international bonus allotment via trade in increments of up to $250,000 per deal.
The Phillies added bonus pool money last summer as well in the trades of Howie Kendrick and Jeremy Hellickson.
Pinto, 24, struggled in 25 appearances with the Phillies last season, posting a 7.89 ERA with 17 walks in 29 2/3 innings.
Rupp clears waivers
Cameron Rupp cleared waivers on Wednesday and is now free to sign with any team.
Former Phillies first-round pick Jesse Biddle had a memorable major-league debut Saturday night for a division rival.
Biddle, the 27th overall pick by the Phillies in 2010 out of Germantown Friends High School, pitched a scoreless ninth inning of relief for the Braves, earning the victory after Atlanta came back in the bottom half against Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
Minutes earlier, Biddle had to bear down with two outs and a man on third base and his team trailing by a run. Yoenis Cespedes launched a moonshot homer to left field that was originally ruled a home run before being overturned to a foul ball. On the next pitch, Biddle got Cespedes to tap out to short to end the inning.
Good for the now 26-year-old Biddle, who battled injuries during a rough minor-league career with the Phils. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2015, Biddle was traded to the Pirates and then claimed by the Braves in the spring of 2017.
The Phillies have no major-leaguers left from that 2010 draft class, which also produced Cameron Rupp, David Buchanan and Mario Hollands.
The Phillies sent left-handed reliever Hoby Milner to Triple A after Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Pirates. Though the team said it would not announce a corresponding roster move until Sunday, the transaction clears a spot for reliever Tommy Hunter to be activated.
Hunter, 31, signed a two-year, $18-million contract with the Phillies in December, but was forced to begin the season on the disabled list after suffering a hamstring strain late in spring training. The right-hander has pitched twice at Double A Reading in recent days in preparation for his return.
Milner’s departure leaves the Phillies with just one lefty — Adam Morgan — in their bullpen. However, as manager Gabe Kapler mentioned several days ago, Hunter’s cutter can be effective against lefty hitters.
Hunter pitched in 61 games for Tampa Bay last season and held lefty hitters to a .170 (15 for 88) batting average and a .501 OPS. Righties hit .224 (28 for 125) with a .649 OPS.
Milner pitched 4 2/3 innings over 10 appearances. He allowed six hits and four runs. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out four.