Yenier Bello was caught trying to escape Cuba around this time last year and wound up being suspended from baseball in his native country. Now, Bello has successfully fled the country and is in the process of being cleared to sign with a big league team, agent Bryce Dixon of Primo Sports Group told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
Multiple teams have already expressed interest in the backstop, but he still needs to be unblocked by the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before negotiating an agreement and that could take several months to get done. Regardless, teams are anxious to see the power hitter and he is expected to audition for major league clubs in Mexico or Arizona at some point.
Bello, 28, hit .274 with 13 homers playing in Cuba’s Serie Nacional in 2011. BN-S notes that the Phillies, Mariners, and Blue Jays are among the clubs expected to consider offseason catching upgrades.