Cuban shortstop free to sign with any team

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According to his agent Bart Hernandez, Cuban shortstop Adeiny
Hechavarria is now able to sign with any team. Jorge Arangure of
ESPN.com tweeted the news last night.

Hechavarria was temporarily blocked as the Office of Foreign Assets Committee verified his age, identity and
residency. Many scouts like the 21-year-old Hechavarria better than Jose Iglesias, who signed a four-year, $8.25 million contract with the Red Sox last
September. The pair played together on the Cuban National Junior Team.

We’re talking about a player who is still very raw, but the Yankees and Cubs are pushing hard to sign him. The Yankees are starting to consider life beyond Derek Jeter while the Cubs are already blessed with top-prospect Starlin Castro and 18-year-old Korean Hak-Ju Lee in their minor league system. But hey, you can never have enough talent.
 

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”