Lucius Fox, an 18-year-old shortstop and native of the Bahamas, has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, according to Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel (on Twitter). Fox is a rather interesting case, as he attended American Heritage High School in Florida but moved back to the Bahamas recently and petitioned to be declared an international free agent rather than be subject to the amateur draft in June. As McDaniel has noted recently, the switch-hitting Fox should be expected to land a seven-figure bonus and likely would’ve been a Top 50 pick had he been draft-eligible. Fox projects to stick at shortstop and has a feel for hitting from both sides of the plate, per McDaniel. He’ll likely wait until July 2 to sign.
A few more notes on some new potential international free agents…
- Cuban right-hander Yaisel Sierra has left the island and is attempting to establish residency in the Dominican Republic, tweets MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. The 23-year-old Sierra has a career 3.74 ERA with 6.3 K/9 against 5.1 BB/9 in 238 innings over his past four seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. The righty has spent five total years in pro ball in Cuba, thereby making him exempt from international spending limitations should he be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
- Center fielder Yordanis Linares has also left Cuba, and he tells Sanchez that he’s looking to establish residency in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Costa Rica or Nicaragua. Though Linares is 26 years old, he lacks the professional experience to be an unrestricted international free agent, so he, too, will be subject to spending pools. Linares left the game of baseball in his teens and spent two years with the Cuban military before returning to the game at the age of 22. He’s a career .318 hitter with 15 homers in 191 Serie Nacional games, Sanchez writes. Linares seems unlikely to be declared a free agent in the current international signing period..