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
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(4692 - 2:25pm, Oct 30)
Last: The Good Face

Newsblog2014 Japan Series ends on runner’s interference call
(5 - 2:24pm, Oct 30)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-30-2014
(16 - 2:24pm, Oct 30)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogSan Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals - October 29, 2014 | MLB.com Box
(74 - 2:24pm, Oct 30)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogJoe Maddon is to become Cubs manager, sources say
(99 - 2:21pm, Oct 30)
Last: odds are meatwad is drunk

NewsblogNewest Hall of Fame Candidates Announced
(10 - 2:21pm, Oct 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogMadison Bumgarner, World Series legend - McCovey Chronicles
(72 - 2:20pm, Oct 30)
Last: Booey

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(592 - 2:19pm, Oct 30)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(983 - 2:16pm, Oct 30)
Last: Paul D(uda)

NewsblogBumgarner extraordinary as Giants claim decade | CSN Bay Area
(1 - 2:07pm, Oct 30)
Last: Gamingboy

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 7 OMNICHATTER
(1438 - 1:16pm, Oct 30)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Ballot
(11 - 1:05pm, Oct 30)
Last: neilsen

NewsblogHeyman: Pablo Sandoval is on Boston's 3B wish list, but so is Chase Headley
(30 - 1:05pm, Oct 30)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogRoad maps to pitching success in Game 7 | FOX Sports
(10 - 12:39pm, Oct 30)
Last: The Chronicles of Reddick

NewsblogVanguard after the Revolution | NBC SportsWorld
(52 - 12:13pm, Oct 30)
Last: McCoy

Page rendered in 1.2499 seconds
47 querie(s) executed