Cuban first baseman/third baseman Yosvani Bell has been unblocked by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control and Major League Baseball, making him free to sign with teams, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (Twitter link). Bell, who is represented by Bryce Dixon (Johnny Cueto’s agent), will host a showcase in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic at month’s end, per Rojas. Bell also hosted a showcase for teams back in July, when he was 23 years of age, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (on Twitter). There’s been very little written on Bell to this point, but MLBTR will of course keep readers apprised of reports on the corner infielder if they become more readily available.
Here’s the latest on a pair of international prospects that have had no shortage of ink dedicated to their names…
- The Dodgers still have legitimate reservations about going after Moncada given the high price he is expected to command, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. The club’s ultimate interest level remains somewhat unclear, per the report, in spite of previous statements by GM Farhan Zaidi that the team would be “players” for Moncada “to the extent that our evaluation of him matches or exceeds where the market goes.”
- Hector Olivera was extremely impressive in a game setting at his second open showcase today, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. The right-handed hitting, 29-year-old second baseman ripped a pair of home runs and also hit a double to the opposite field gap. Olivera split his time between second base and third base and also showed an above-average time in the 60-yard dash (6.65 seconds) prior to the game. The Dodgers had the most notable presence in attendance, per Badler, with VP of baseball operations Josh Byrnes among those in attendance. The D-Backs had their own VP of baseball operations, De Jon Watson, in attendance, and the Giants were well-represented, too. According to Badler, the Padres, Giants and Braves have all had their top scouts watching Olivera recently, and he’s also been seen by Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and president Kevin Mather. (Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweeted last night, however, not to read too much into the Mariners’ presence at a workout; they were in the Dominican for organizational meetings at the time already.)
- The Brewers are interested in Yoan Moncada and will keep tabs on him, writes MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, though he notes that Milwaukee is not likely to sign the 19-year-old. The Brewers sent at least six people to watch Moncada in a private workout, including pro scouting director Zack Minasian, amateur scouting director Doug Reynolds and senior director of baseball operations Tom Flanagan, per McCalvy. However, GM Doug Melvin said that while the reports on Moncada were unsurprisingly positive, he didn’t want to tip his hand with other teams in negotiation.
- McCalvy also notes that while the Brewers are an unlikely landing spot, the team did make a six-year, $64MM offer to Jose Abreu prior to his contract with the White Sox, though the team had some concerns that it was used more as a bargaining chip. Of course, it has to be noted that being willing to offer a 26-year-old MLB-ready first baseman a sizable Major League deal certainly does not mean they’ll be comfortable offering a similar, if not larger sum to a 19-year-old prospect in the form of a signing bonus.
- The Giants feel that they are long shots in the Moncada sweepstakes, general manager Brian Sabean told reporters, including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Some have speculated that the Giants would be in on Moncada after showing a willingness to spend on both Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval but failing to secure either player this winter.