Cuban infielder Yosvani Garcia, 26, has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). Because Garcia is older than 23 and has at least five years of professional experience playing in Cuba, he is not considered an amateur and will not be subject to international spending limitations.
Garcia will host a showcase for MLB clubs in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on May 27. He’s a lifetime .280/.375/.352 hitter in Cuba with a knack for making contact, evidenced by a strikeout rate of 14.8 percent in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional. Garcia has been clocked at 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash and possibly as low as 6.2 seconds.
Garcia, who is being represented by Pro Talent Sports Group’s Christopher Fanta, didn’t play in Cuba’s most recent season, as he was in the process of establishing residency in the Dominican Republic after defecting from Cuba. To this point, roughly 10 clubs have expressed interest in his services. It’s unclear at this stage exactly what type of contract Garcia could command. He’s not a Hector Olivera type of prospect, but we’ve still seen recent Cuban signings such as Dian Toscano (four years, $6MM with the Braves) and Daniel Carbonell (four years, $3.5MM with the Giants) obtain noteworthy guarantees, even though some scouts feel they’re likely to occupy part-time roles in the Majors. Another Cuban signee, Pablo Fernandez, received an $8MM bonus on a Minor League deal despite the fact that scouts were lukewarm on him, and he spent most of his time in Cuba as a reliever.