Jose Julio Ruiz Close To Signing

FEBRUARY 24, 4:50am: Jesus Gallo, trainer for Ruiz, tells Rangel at the Nuevo Herald that Ruiz has received bids from six major league teams and "concrete proposals" from at least three. All of the offers exceeded $1MM, but none have been sufficient to ink the 25-year-old first baseman. Last Thursday, ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure, Jr. wrote that some teams view Ruiz as being ready to join major league rosters immediately.

Gallo labels the Cuban defector's most recent try-out, on Monday against members of the Blue Jays, "his last before signing." He says Ruiz will make a decision between Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

FEBRUARY 14: Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz may be close to signing according to a report from Luis E. Rangel of the Miami-based Nuevo Herald, which was passed along by MLBTR's resident translator Nick Collias. Here are some quotes from Ruiz's agent, Jorge Luis Toca…

“In the coming week he should be signed. Perhaps we’ll be announcing something on Wednesday.”

“Toronto, Texas, Boston, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Colorado are the ones who have shown the most interest. We are also expecting an offer from the Yankees.” 

“The idea is to find a team where there is the most opportunity to rise quickly.”

With regards to the last point, Toca noted that the Yankees are the least appealing team because of the presence of Mark Teixeira. Despite that, Ruiz is currently working out at the Yanks' complex in the Dominican Republic, and Toca indicated that "millions" of dollars were being discussed with teams, as well as an invitation to Spring Training. 

The 25-year-old Ruiz hit .305/.408/.467 over 52 games in the Serie Nacional last season before suddenly defecting to the Dominican. ESPN's Jorge Arangure noted that he was more than just a masher relegated to first base, offering speed and athleticism. 


26 Responses to Jose Julio Ruiz Close To Signing Leave a Reply

  1. grant77 5 years ago

    I hear he might be able to convert to the outfield. If that’s the case and he wants playing time, mark the Jays down as heavy favourites.

    • Because no one else would put the effort in to sign him, Grant? If he would convert to the outfield, he’d probably be in left or right. Long-term, the Jays will need to put Wells and Snider in the corner spots and should be looking more towards finding a centre fielder.

      I know the Jays have said time and again that Wallace is moving to first, but if they sign JJR, could plans change?

      • briantalletsmoustache 5 years ago

        Unless they convert him to 3B?

      • grant77 5 years ago

        I just think if he wants PT, we can give him the best guarantee. I don’t think he’s the type of guy who would slot in ahead of Wallace, it’s the outfield if he wants a spot on the Jays I would think.

        • You might be right about the playing time, short term, though he’d probably have to start in the minors if Toronto moved him to a corner spot.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Where ever he goes I’d expect him to make an impact quickly.

  2. yankeepride3 5 years ago

    I’m usually down to sign pretty much any international player who has some potential, but I won’t lose any sleep if the Yankees don’t land Ruiz. We have Teixeira/Montero/Miranda who are capable of playing first base and hes already 25, so he’d probably just be another Miranda, stuck down on the farm.

  3. bballrox4717 5 years ago

    Like the guy, don’t know if there’s a fit in Colorado: the outfield is already crowded and the earliest first base will be free for us is if Helton leaves after 2011, which I doubt. He’d be the first base starter in 2012 in a base case scenario, so unless he doesn’t mind 2 years in the minors, he probably shouldn’t be thinking much about the Rockies offer. To be honest, if he’s looking for playing time, the Giants, Blue Jays and the Rays are the way to go, and even so, Sandoval should be a first baseman, the Rays have Pena (I don’t know for how long though), and the Jays have Wallace….:/

  4. Nice touch his agent has to mention the Yankees. Always keep them in the mix when they really aren’t, good to make the other teams raise their prices.

  5. lefty177 5 years ago

    mashing & speed, anyone see any resemblance between Ruiz & Mark Reynolds? (Given Ruiz doesn’t strike out nearly as much though)

  6. BleacherBumSF 5 years ago

    with Angel Villalona’s future uncertain the Giants should seriously try to get this guy but the difference is Villalona is 19 and Ruiz is 25

    • Villalona’s career is effectively over. Even if he’s acquitted in his home country, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be allowed to continue his baseball career in the U.S.

      Too bad, he looked like a potential monster back in the day.

  7. goinglongo 5 years ago

    I think the Rays would be a great fit. Pena has one year remaining on his contract with no heir to first base waiting. No matter what hes going to need some time in the minors and could be ready to take over with Pena either being traded by the trade deadline or walking as a free agent. If Pat the Fat struggles again, there could be an opening at DH sooner than later as well. Lastly, the Rays are very patient with young players and have a great young core with build around.

  8. goinglongo 5 years ago

    I think the Rays would be a great fit. Pena has one year remaining on his contract with no heir to first base waiting. No matter what hes going to need some time in the minors and could be ready to take over with Pena either being traded by the trade deadline or walking as a free agent. If Pat the Fat struggles again, there could be an opening at DH sooner than later as well. Lastly, the Rays are very patient with young players and have a great young core with build around.

  9. $1574266 5 years ago

    I hope the Pirates are at least in on him

  10. You guys recognize the level of competition in Cuba, right?

    His numbers hardly mean anything, Cuban baseball is like Hi Single-A, there’s practically zero correlation between Cuban and MLB numbers.

    If the numbers mattered more, guys like Iglesias and Hechevarria wouldn’t be considered elite Cuban prospects.

  11. Deanezag 5 years ago

    link to baseball-reference.com

    He had 32 steals in the 07-08 season, and was caught 9 times; but stole 0 bases in 08-9.

  12. that actually made me LOL

  13. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Hey, is this going to be a series? You posted virtually the same exact thing under “Odds & Ends: Upton, Jackson, Tigers, Lopez,” a couple of days ago.

  14. It was only 25 games, so it could just be a sample size thing.

  15. Sorry, a brief moment of dyslexia it seems.

  16. Right, because guys signed out of Cuba have done way better in the majors than those from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Panama.. oh wait.

  17. DarthVader87 5 years ago

    Though I agree with you, I also have to say that this group looks far more promising than the ones in the past. Scouting has gotten a lot better in Cuba.

  18. Scouting has gotten better in general. But realistically, the track record for high profile Cuban defectors isn’t great. It makes me wonder why guys like Iglesias and Viciedo get $8M or more each, while similar Latin prospects command closer to $2M.

    I think that Cuban defectors are overvalued, at least somewhat

  19. No offense to you, but the scouting reports don’t make this guy sound remotely like a middle of the order impact bat.

    Think James Loney.

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