Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Yulieski Gourriel Newsbeat

Monday, July 14, 2014

Knobler: Inside MLB’s Cuban Pipeline: It’s High-Risk, High-Reward

Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba.

Eventually, the players who leave the island establish residency in another country and are declared free agents. Workouts are scheduled, sometimes attracting 200 scouts and executives if the player is a big enough star.

Sometimes, a player may work out for a specific team, as Abreu did for the Reds when they wanted to see if he could play third base or left field (he couldn’t, at least not to their satisfaction, and with Joey Votto set at first base, they reluctantly dropped out of the bidding).

Eventually, a player signs pending a physical exam, which can be something of an adventure in itself. The Dodgers had to have someone drive Puig 1.5 hours across Mexico City to find an MRI machine. When the Reds recently signed pitcher Raisel Iglesias, scheduling the physical was almost a bigger obstacle than negotiating the contract.

“We were working on a tight deadline, and the kid couldn’t get a visa yet to come to the Dominican Republic or the U.S.,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty explained. “We finally brought a doctor from the Dominican, and a Spanish-speaking doctor we work with in Cincinnati, to see the kid in Haiti. But then they had to find an MRI machine in Haiti.”

It all got done, and now the Reds will hope Iglesias does as well for them as Chapman has. He was nearly as expensive, costing the Reds $27 million for a seven-year contract, even though he wasn’t as highly touted as Chapman (who got $30.25 million for six years in January 2010).

The prices keep going up, which only makes the decisions tougher.

“The gut feel has to be there,” said Don Welke, a top Rangers scout who has been to many Cuban showcases and was involved in the signing of outfielder Leonys Martin. “It’s huge risk, huge reward. As it’s turned out recently, whoever has taken the risk has gotten the reward.

“But some scout had to stick his neck out for every one of these guys. And you’d better darn well be right, because your owner is asking you why you want to spend so much on a guy you only saw in two workouts.”


 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Francis
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - November 2014 College Football thread
(598 - 5:55am, Nov 28)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1185 - 4:30am, Nov 28)
Last: Dan The Mediocre

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8725 - 3:32am, Nov 28)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(5074 - 3:21am, Nov 28)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prove (once again) that competitive balance in baseball will never exist | cleveland.com
(42 - 3:03am, Nov 28)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogDave Cameron: A proposed three-way swap for Red Sox, Mariners, Nationals
(53 - 1:58am, Nov 28)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

Newsblog[Cricketer NOT baseball player] Phil Hughes dies after “pitch” to the head
(13 - 1:53am, Nov 28)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Hall of Merit2014 Results: Maddux, Thomas and Glavine elected to the Hall of Merit!
(82 - 1:19am, Nov 28)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(549 - 1:05am, Nov 28)
Last: Sean Forman

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(57 - 12:52am, Nov 28)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogSource: Tomas agrees to six-year deal with D-backs | MLB.com
(24 - 12:15am, Nov 28)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogShould the Red Sox Be Afraid of Hanley Ramirez Being Hanley Ramirez? - Red Sox - Boston.com
(34 - 10:52pm, Nov 27)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogSandy Alderson says Mets can move quickly if a shortstop becomes available - NY Daily News
(37 - 9:15pm, Nov 27)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

Newsblog2015 Potential Hall of Fame Ballot | Baseball-Reference.com
(33 - 6:45pm, Nov 27)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(85 - 4:43pm, Nov 27)
Last: Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge

Page rendered in 1.1236 seconds
47 querie(s) executed