DECEMBER 3: Garcia is now an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets.
AUGUST 30: Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia has left his home nation in hopes of securing an opportunity with a major league organization, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The 24-year-old is the younger brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia.
Given his age and experience in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Garcia will be exempt from international bonus pools. Of course, he’ll still need to clear several hurdles before he is eligible to sign.
Badler explains that the younger Garcia brings an impressive set of tools — including a quick bat, 60-grade speed, and top-level arm strength. While he has lined up mostly in right field, Garcia is said to hold the promise of playing center.
Badler notes that Garcia’s strong recent production in Cuba may somewhat overstate his polish at the plate, though, as he needs significant refinement as a hitter. Indeed, he struggled in a recent stint in Japan’s second level of professional ball. As always, you’ll want to read Badler’s report for a full breakdown.
In the aggregate, it’ll likely be some time until Garcia has a real chance of appearing at the major league level. Badler suggests he’ll likely be ready for an initial assignment in the upper minors, but even the start of his professional career could take a year or more to get underway — unless, perhaps, further rule changes ease the transition for players coming out of Cuba.