6:43pm: Cincinnati president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said that team and player “do not have a deal,” as C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. As Rosecrans adds, though, that doesn’t necessarily mean an agreement isn’t in place, as most executives would decline to confirm such an agreement before it’s final. And Jocketty did admit that Rodriguez “is a player of interest.”
6:11pm: The Reds have struck a deal with Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez that will pay him $6MM, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Rodriguez, 21, left Cuba back in May in hopes of pursuing a career in the major leagues.
Importantly, as Sanchez, explains, the signing will put Cincinnati into the max penalty for international bonus spending. The club had been just within its allotment after its prior signings, but is now set not only to pay a 100% tax on its overages but also to lose its ability to sign an international player for over $300K for the next two signing periods. With that bullet bitten, it’s fair to wonder whether the Reds will pursue additional players before this July 2 period closes.
Ben Badler of Baseball America provided an explanation of the youngster’s abilities when he left Cuba. The key takeaway is that Rodriguez is a polished defender who has a long way to go with the bat.
Rodriguez won the Rookie of the Year award in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, based largely on his impeccable glovework (and the defection of leading candidate Yusnier Diaz). Indeed, he hit just .265/.301/.284 over 304 plate appearances on the way to earning the award. Rodriguez also has good wheels, according to Badler, which certainly could boost his odds of eventually cracking the majors.
Now go get lazarito.
The kid is worth the money.
It seems that all Cuban players are being overpaid… I miss that generation of El Duque and Livan…I mean come on… But again… That’s the team’s money….
If the Reds sign Alfredo Rodriguez now they’ll be unable to seriously compete for top international free agents for the next two years. For a rebuilding team, is he really worth it?
If he signs it better just be the first step, along with several other big additions as the Reds make a late Dodgers-esq push to blow past the spending limits. You know, adding Lazarito, Randy Arozarena, and anyone else highly regarded who is still available. I hope he’s a supplement to the big prizes acquired, rather than the primary acquisition, responsible for the spending penalties that’ll now be placed upon the Reds.
Agreed. The Reds have a strong reputation in Cuba. I’d expect them to be big players in that market now that they’ll be so limited internationally the next two years. If they’re investing the money saved by the trades of Cueto, Leake, Chapman and Frazier, good for them. It also will signal to the fans that the club is serious about quickly rebuilding.
He’s worth the Investment because what your getting in DR or VZ isn’t up to the caliber of Rodriguez, in the Intl Market at the moment.
Six mill, but for how many years? I don’t know how you guys can comment on the signing, without knowing the length of the contract. Please provide more info.