Cuban center fielder Guillermo Heredia has left the island in search of major league deal


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.