Cuban second baseman Jose Fernandez defects

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There’s going to be a new Jose Fernandez in major league baseball soon. This one doesn’t pitch, however. He’s a second baseman from Cuba and, it appears anyway, he has defected.

Fernandez is 26 and, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America, he is a polished, finished product with excellent plate discipline and on-base skills, though not much power. His defense is said to be adequate. That’s a bit of a different mix than we’ve seen from past Cuban players, many of whom have profiled as having elite tools but maybe not as much in the way of polish and plate discipline. Of course, we’ve also seen that many of the more recent Cuban products have been a but undersold. Many didn’t expect much of Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu, for example.

If the usual timeline holds it may be next season before he is secure with non-U.S. permanent residency and his immigration paperwork is finalized. At that point, he would be a free agent.

Mets claim Sam Coonrod off waivers from Phillies

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — The active New York Mets added another newcomer to their bullpen mix when they claimed reliever Sam Coonrod off waivers from the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Coonrod had a 7.82 ERA in 12 appearances covering 12 2/3 innings last year for the National League champions. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 5.27 ERA and five saves in 105 games over four major league seasons with San Francisco and Philadelphia. He has struck out 95 and walked 44 in 97 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old Coonrod was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week when they signed free agent infielder Josh Harrison.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Khalil Lee was designated for assignment by the Mets.