M’s Add More Cuban Talent

The Mariners continue to be active in the market to sign Cuban players, as they are reportedly on the cusp of adding another one.

Outfielder Guillermo Heredia is apparently about to sign with Seattle, adding another player into the mix in the upper minors – or possibly the majors.

Heredia is a 25-year-old speed-and-defense type, though he did draw walks and post strong on-base percentages in the Cuban professional league (the Serie Nacional). You can see his known Cuban stats here.

Heredia has not played in over two years, due to complications from defecting and the subsequent free agency process. Because of this, he is most likely to begin his US career in the minors – possibly at Double-A Jackson or maybe here in Tacoma. The Mariners will use spring training to evaluate him.

Heredia is part of a recent group of lower-profile Cuban players the Mariners have signed. They added infielder Dayner Moreira earlier this month, and last year they signed pitcher Misael Siverio who spent the 2015 season in the Jackson rotation. The M’s had a big hit with a low-profile Cuban player when Roenis Elias emerged as a major leaguer.

It’s an interesting approach, to search for the bargains in the Cuban market. The big bonus players don’t always work out – sure, Yoenis Cespedes and Aroldis Chapman are superstars, but the Red Sox probably aren’t too happy with all of the money they spent on Rusney Castillo and let’s not ask the Phillies about Miguel Gonzalez. I’m not sure what, exactly, Yasiel Puig is at this point.

Maybe some of these new Cuban players will end up contributing in the majors for the M’s. We’ll probably get an early look at them in Tacoma, and we can pretend we’re scouts and try to figure out if they are going to make it or not.

Links:

Rhubarb the Reindeer can’t wait to get the season started. He gets sad during the winter – check out the video.

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