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
Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMLB creates pace of game committee
(76 - 8:26am, Sep 23)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogVIDEO: Jose Altuve leaves his feet to hit a high fastball
(1 - 8:25am, Sep 23)
Last: Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-22-2014
(127 - 8:23am, Sep 23)
Last: Chris Fluit

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2014
(2 - 8:19am, Sep 23)
Last: Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(222 - 8:17am, Sep 23)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(366 - 8:15am, Sep 23)
Last: Randy Jones

NewsblogCalcaterra: If Bobby Cox has anything to say about it, Fredi Gonzalez will manage the Braves for a long time
(2 - 7:57am, Sep 23)
Last: Rickey! trades in sheep and threats

NewsblogJoe Girardi: ‘Pitch the right way’
(65 - 7:47am, Sep 23)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogRays missing out shows how tough it is to consistently reach playoffs
(19 - 6:15am, Sep 23)
Last: Barnaby Jones

NewsblogMets near extension with GM Alderson
(14 - 6:13am, Sep 23)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

NewsblogMLB: Braves fire GM Frank Wren; John Hart to take over interim position
(139 - 6:04am, Sep 23)
Last: Barnaby Jones

NewsblogESPN (Crasnick): Free-agent missteps led to demise of Atlanta’s Frank Wren
(13 - 2:39am, Sep 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogRoyals encounter problem with online sale of playoff tickets
(46 - 2:04am, Sep 23)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(215 - 1:09am, Sep 23)
Last: SouthSideRyan

NewsblogChad | Have a heart! Root for the Royals
(31 - 11:53pm, Sep 22)
Last: cardsfanboy

Page rendered in 1.5237 seconds
47 querie(s) executed