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Get out the Spanish-English dictionary and put on Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
- Morgan Campbell at the Toronto Star posits that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos' recent scouting trip to the Dominican Republic could mean the team is "closing in" on Jose Julio Ruiz. Yesterday, Ruiz's trainer told the Nuevo Herald that the first baseman's most recent tryout, his "last before signing," was against Blue Jays players. The blog cubanballplayers.com also reported on Tuesday that Ruiz had a private tryout with the Jays. Both the team and Prestige Sports Agency, which represents Ruiz, remain mum on any communication.
- Cuban first baseman/outfielder Leslie Anderson tells Angel Mazariego of the Mexican newspaper Sipse that he is willing to play in Mexico this season if nothing materializes for him in the majors. Anderson lists the Red Sox, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, Giants and Brewers as the teams he knows to have scouted him recently. Mazariego adds the Dodgers and Tigers to the list.
- Amaury Perez Torres at the Cuban baseball blog Las Avispas cites a "source close to" pitching prospect Juan Yasser Serrano saying that the right-hander has worked out for 10 major league teams this winter. Most recently, the source says, Serrano struck out four in a two-inning simulation for the Cubs on February 19, with a fastball that touched 93.
- If it seems like there is more chatter about Cuban defectors than ever before, that's no coincidence, writes Campbell in the Toronto Star. In a lengthy article, he outlines how more Cuban players are now aiming at the major leagues thanks to the success of Kendry Morales and Yunel Escobar, neither of whom was a starter in Cuba. Equally significant was the contract that third base prospect Dayan Viciedo signed with the White Sox in 2008. A Cuban baseball expert in Canada tells Campbell that Viciedo made players on the island think, "If he can get $10 million, then what am I worth?"
- Speaking of Morales, Jorge Arangure Jr. adds a new dimension to the first baseman's recent switch from Hendricks Sports Management to Scott Boras in an article in ESPN the Magazine. Rodney Fernandez, who recruited both Morales and Aroldis Chapman for Kendricks, is being investigated by the MLBPA and Florida police in regard to $300K that disappeared from Morales' bank account.
Full Story | 16 Comments | Categories: Alex Anthopoulos | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Dayan Viciedo | Detroit Tigers | Jose Julio Ruiz | Juan Yasser Serrano | Kendrys Morales | Leslie Anderson | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | Toronto Blue Jays | Yunel Escobar
Jose Julio Ruiz is drawing more interest than fellow Cuban first baseman Leslie Anderson, reports ESPN.com’s Jorge Arangure Jr.. Ruiz has attracted interest from many teams, including the Red Sox and his agents have fielded multiple offers. It’s unlikely that the 25-year-old will sign before Monday, but he could sign soon. Some teams wonder if Ruiz could hit in the majors immediately.
Anderson worked out in Mexico last week, but the nine teams that watched the 27-year-old were generally unimpressed. One interested executive called the showing "mediocre at best." Still, Anderson could sign with a big league club within a week.
Here are a few other notes from Arangure Jr.:
- Eduardo Salcedo, an 18-year-old infielder, could be cleared to sign with MLB teams sometime this week. If everything goes through, the D’Backs and Braves will be among the teams interested in signing him. The bidding could reach $2MM for the shortstop-third baseman.
- The Pirates agreed to sign 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Willy Garcia for $280K.
- The D’Backs signed 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Socrates Abrito for $190K.
Leslie Anderson, a first baseman/outfielder for Cuba's national team has defected and is looking to negotiate with big league teams according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (as translated by Nick Collias). Jaime Torres, the agent for the 26-year-old, says there is "much interest" in his client.
Anderson can play all three outfield positions and his agent compared him to another versatile Cuban, Alexei Ramirez. Anderson hit .381 with 13 homers in Cuba last season and escaped to Mexico in September.