Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig has officially been declared a free agent, sources tell Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, and could have a deal finalized with a Major League team by Friday.
Puig can now meet with teams to discuss parameters of deals but cannot finalize a contract until he is unblocked by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, Sanchez reports. That is not expected to be an issue, though, "in accordance with the new guidelines that create a general license authorizing Major League teams to do business" with a Cuban prospect who has established residency somewhere else.
The 20-year-old has been working to establish free agency so as to beat the new collective bargaining agreement's July 2 deadline, which stipulates that teams may only sign international prospects for up to $2.9MM without penalty after that date. Puig is thought to be seeking a contract similar to the ones signed by Yoenis Cespedes with the A's and Jorge Soler with the Cubs.