Hector Olivera defected from Cuba last September in hopes of signing with an MLB team and he’s drawing plenty of interest.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, more than 200 scouts attended a workout for Olivera last week in the Dominican Republic. The 29-year-old second baseman still has to be cleared by the U.S. government before signing with the a team, but Sanchez writes that the Giants, Padres, Rangers, Braves, and Yankees are among the teams showing strong interest in him.
Olivera has long been considered one of the best players in Cuba. In fact, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 6 player in Cuba last August, but he carries some questions due to his age and injury history. He missed the entire 2012-13 season due to thrombosis in his left biceps and hasn’t played in any international competition since. However, he batted .316/.412/.474 with seven home runs over 273 plate appearances in his return to Serie Nacional last season while amassing more walks (38) than strikeouts (25), so he can still get it done with the bat. It’s worth noting that he spent a lot of his time at DH, so he might have to prove that he can stick at second base stateside.
Ben Badler of Baseball America has the news …
Guillermo Heredia, the center fielder on Cuba’s 2013 World Baseball Classic team known for his defense, has left the island to pursue a contract with a major league team, Baseball America has learned.
Heredia, 23, will be exempt from the international bonus pools, though the process to become eligible to sign will take a while.
Badler calls Heredia a “plus defender” in center field with good range and a strong throwing arm. Heredia had a tremendous 2011-2012 season in Serie Nacional at age 21, but he batted .265/.381/.384 in 2012-2013 and just .255/.377/.349 during the 2013-2014 campaign.
The on-base production and defensive skillset should nonetheless create a nice major league market for him. Unlike fellow Cuban defector Yoan Moncada — who’s only 19 years old and didn’t spend much time in Serie Nacional — signing Heredia, as Badler noted, won’t come with international signing limit penalties.
Heredia first has to be cleared by MLB and the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control.
You probably could have assumed this one. Via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo …
Because of his age and lack of experience in a professional league, Moncada is subject to Major League Baseball’s international signing regulations — meaning the team that ultimately lands him will also have to shell out a ton of money in penalties. He’s expected to command a bonus in the $30-40 million range, and the total expenditure could climb near $80 million. That would shatter the previous record for an amateur player.
Moncada recently held private workouts with the Yankees and the Giants, and the Red Sox and Dodgers are also thought to be in serious pursuit of the 19-year-old infielder. Those teams have much looser purse strings than the Mets, who have been busy charging their own players to attend offseason workouts.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports that the Yankees held a private workout for Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada. The Yankees are considered to be one of the front runners for his services, if not the front runner.
Moncada is currently waiting on an unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before he can sign with a team. When that clearance comes, however, expect him to sign quickly and for big bucks, as the 19-year-old has hit .277/.388/.380 with four home runs and 21 stolen bases in two seasons for the Cienfuegos Elephants of the Cuban National series.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports that the Giants held a private workout for Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada. Badler adds that Giants ownership is making a push to be more involved in the Cuban market.
Moncada, 19, has been drawing a great deal of interest, especially from well-to-do teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Red Sox. He still needs clearance from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before he can sign.
Moncada hit .277/.388/.380 with four home runs and 21 stolen bases in two seasons for the Cienfuegos Elephants of the Cuban National series.