Cubs Agree To Deals With Pair Of Cuban Players

The Cubs have reached agreements to sign a pair of Cuban players, MLBTR's Nick Collias has learned.  They'll be signing outfielder Ruby Silva for $1.2MM as well as catcher Yaniel Cabezas for $500K.

Silva, 21, is a versatile left-handed hitter who played center field for the champion Havana Vaqueros in the 48th Cuban National series.  He can play all three outfield positions and perhaps even the middle infield.  He's a good athlete who draws praise as a plus runner with a plus arm.  He could begin his pro career in low A ball with the Peoria Chiefs.

Cabezas is a catch-and-throw backstop who reminds some of a young Yadier Molina, though his bat has improved in the last year.

31 Responses to Cubs Agree To Deals With Pair Of Cuban Players Leave a Reply

  1. baseball52 4 years ago

    How old is Cabeza?

  2. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Is it just me or do there seem to be more Cubans defecting to play in the MLB lately?

  3. Infield Fly 4 years ago

    Let’s Go Cub[an]s!

    That works! :)

  4. The only info I could find on Silva was this bit from B-R: “He hit .212 in 66 AB as a rookie in 2007-2008. In 2008-2009, he batted .276/.305/.428 and led the Serie Nacional with 10 triples. He also had 16 outfield assists. He defected following the season.” I wouldn’t pretend to know enough about projecting someone so young from year-old Cuban National numbers, but the above would seem to indicate he has a lot of raw tools, but needs to make some progress on plate discipline and developing power.

    Any links to a more current or detailed report on him?

    • Yes, the report I gave you!

      • Yes, Tim… that was fabulous. (Pats Tim on head.) I was really looking for a primary source kind of thing that might have comparable players or more statistical information.

        That said, I’m always glad to learn from the info Tim gives us directly. Cheers to you, sir.

  5. BlueCatuli 4 years ago

    The catcher sounds interesting. Hopefully thy both pan out in the long run. Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilken have been making some solid decisions on young guys the last two or three years.

    • crunchy1 4 years ago

      He’s been timed at 1.8 on his throws to second, well above average. He can also hit for average. Sounds like he can be a very good backup. Maybe more if he develops power.

  6. $1529282 4 years ago

    Yaniel Head. Awesome name.

  7. Ruby Silva sounds like a good player

  8. showcowgo 4 years ago

    it should be “Cabezas” with an “s” at the end…

  9. Jim’s been busy today. Any idea how old Cabeza is? Just curious, maybe we can get an idea of how close they are to the majors. Based on Tim’s comments I’d guess they’re still pretty far away.

  10. elmiche 4 years ago

    Cabezas Avg .208 in 2 national series in Cuba, but he was the catcher for youth national team that played during the 2007 Panamerican where he share team with Dayán Viciedo. His avg in that tournament was 660 and he was chosen as all star catcher.
    “Im a good avg hitting player. I can hit homeruns but im not a homerun player. I play a good defense. My arm is strong and im good running bases”, said Cabezas.

    srry for the traslation if anybody can do a better work here is the original article in spanish:

    Cabezas promedió .208 en dos campañas en la Serie Nacional, pero fue integrante de la selección juvenil que jugó en el Panamericano del 2007 y en el que compartió con Dayán Viciedo. En ese torneo promedió .660 y fue elegido como el catcher del Todos Estrellas.
    “Soy un receptor de bastante contacto. Doy jonrones, pero no soy un jonronero nato. A la defensa me muevo bien detrás del plato. Mi brazo es bueno y también soy bueno corriendo en las almohadillas”, apuntó Cabezas.

    • crunchy1 4 years ago

      That’s a pretty good translation…I’ll just add a couple of things…

      Cabezas hit .208 in two National Series campaigns, but he was integral for the Junior National Team that played in the 2007 Panamerican Games where he played with Dayan Viciedo. In this tournament he hit .660 and was selected as the all-star catcher.

      “I’m a hitter who makes a lot of contact. I can hit homeruns but I’m not a homerun hitter. I move well behind the plate. I have a good arm and I’m a good baserunner.”

      • elmiche 4 years ago

        ty, yours was perfect

        • crunchy1 4 years ago


          And thanks for providing that information. It’s hard to find stuff on Cuban players.

      • Infield Fly 4 years ago

        Good job!

        Maybe it’s time for you to change your handle to “el crujiente #1″ 😀

  11. elmiche 4 years ago

    cabezas should be like 21 or 22. At the time of the article above he was 20 and it was like 1 or 2 years ago

  12. Havana should have a MLB team, if govts would grow up…

  13. jayrig5 4 years ago

    I’ll say this, at least the Cubs are following through when they said they’d be redirecting major league payroll to amateur/foreign scouting and signing.

    Now, I still disagree that they couldn’t keep the payroll at the same level and then add money to other areas of operations, but that’s a different point.

  14. bpot92 4 years ago

    they are both 21

  15. Wrek305 4 years ago

    In the fashion of Hendry if they are any good they will likely make their ML Debuts at 28 or 29.. since he will forget about them and sign players that are exactly the same.. I doubt they are any good the Cubs Scout aren’t exactly good..

    Hopefully this Cabezas kid works out and he goes through the minors fast they are desperate for a catcher but i guess Max Ramirez will do for now

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      How in the world are they desperate for a catcher? Max Ramirez might not even be on the opening day roster. Please, in all your infinite wisdom, explain to everyone how having Soto as a number one catcher makes the Cubs desperate. You are clueless.

      • With Wellington Castillo behind Soto.

      • Wrek305 4 years ago

        they currently don’t have a good catcher right now, they are desperate for a catcher.. they haven’t had a good catcher since Giradi , and Todd and Randy Hundley

        • Soto is one of the top catchers in baseball!!! The Cubs, I think, could use some catching depth in their minor league system, but at the major league level they are not desperate. I would, though, like to see the Cubs head brass give Castillo a shot instead of Koyie Hill as the backup to Soto.

          But the Cubs are not looking to replace Soto anytime soon.

  16. In other news Cubs signed Braden Looper and Augie Ojeda

  17. Maybe its the excuse the Cubs need to finally rid themselves of Koyie Hill who is practically useless as far as having any real talent.

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