Get used to hearing this name, though it’s not as if you can forget it. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, 16-year-old Cuban prospect Lazaro Armenteros has been declared a free agent by MLB and will be eligible to sign with a team beginning on February 10.
Known as “Lazarito” on the international baseball scene, Armenteros has been profiled by Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com in recent months. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, he’s expected to end up in a corner outfield spot in the long run, but he has experience at both corner infield positions. Ben Badler of Baseball America has some video of him here. Armenteros had an open showcase at the Padres academy in the Dominican Republic last Friday, but ESPN’s Keith Law writes that he got “multiple less-than-flattering reports.” Still, the expectation is that demand will be high.
It’s important to note that because of Armenteros’ age and experience level, he will be subject to MLB’s international spending limits. You might recall that there was a similar situation with Yoan Moncada about a year ago. He ended up signing a $31.5 million deal with the Red Sox. The total outlay of the deal ended up being $63 million due to the penalties involved for exceeding the international spending limit. Granted, it doesn’t sound like Armenteros is quite on Moncada’s level.