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.