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No, they aren’t those two Cuban players, but today the Chicago Cubs signed two Cuban prospects, outfielder Yasiel Balaguert and righthander Carlos Martinez.

Baseball America describes the soon-to-be 19-year-old Balaguert as a “thick-bodied” center fielder with “modest tools,” who “shows occasional average power with a quick bat and good extension.”

But BA adds that “several scouts have said he’ll have to continue to make adjustments to get to his power in games because of a long, uppercut swing from the right side and an aggressive, pull-oriented approach that leaves him susceptible to secondary stuff.”

From some quick research, it looks like Balaguert (who was previously identified as “Balaguer”) was a hot name when he defected around this time last year, and actually worked out for the Cubs in January. Why it took so long to sign, I can’t say.

Martinez, 20, is a huge kid – 6’4″, 215 lbs – who has pitched in relief at the highest level in Cuba, but with limited success. He’s described as having a decent fastball that sits in the low 90s, and a curveball and change up that both need work.

There is more on each in the Baseball America article, including some on Balaguert’s time in the World Junior National Tournament in 2010 playing alongside Jorge Soler and against future 2011 first-round picks Bubba Starling, Francisco Lindor and Blake Swihart.

The Cubs’ brass, you’ll recall, spent considerable time earlier in the offseason in the Carribean scouting Cubans Yoenis Cespedes and Soler, along with other (at the time) unnamed prospects.

  • BetterNews

    Happy New Year everybody!

  • MightyBear

    Does anyone think the Cubs could get Turner and Smyly in a Garza deal? Would the tigres go for that?

  • 2much2say

    On the night before Christmas, when all thru the office not a GM was stirring not even Mcleod The front office was huddled all ready to deal, While visions of trades danced all in their heads Not a trade was occurring not even a claim while Theo and Jed still lay in their beds When over the wire it was announced the Cubs signed 2 Cubans but they were the wrong ones.

  • 2much2say

    visions of trades danced all in their heads Not a trade was occurring not even a claim while Theo and Jed still lay in their beds When over the wire it was announced the Cubs signed 2 Cubans but they were the wrong ones.

  • 2much2say

    On the night before Christmas, when all thru the office not a GM was stirring not even Mcleod The front office was huddled all ready to deal, While

  • 2much2say

    it was announced the Cubs signed 2 Cubans but they were the wrong ones.

  • 2much2say

    visions of trades danced all in their heads Not a trade was occurring not even a claim while Theo and Jed still lay in their beds When over the wire

  • 2much2say

    On the night before Christmas, when all thru the office not a GM was stirring not even Mcleod The front office was huddled all ready to deal,

  • ferrets_bueller

    someone please revoke this dude’s posting privileges…

    • Rick Vaughn

      I’d consider it a personal favor.

       

    • HoustonTransplant

      Yes, please.  I come here for intelligent baseball discussions, not Spam.

      “But I don’t LIKE Spam!!”

      • ferrets_bueller

        Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Baked beans, Spam! Spam! Spam! and Spam!

  • 2much2say

    Ferret GFY

  • Lou Cub

    Per Scott Seuim on MLBinsidenews twitter, according to a high ranking Cubs source, the Cubs are likely to accept Detroits offer for Matt Garza soon..Didn’t say who was coming to the Cubs though…If it’s true i’m hoping we get Turner, Oliver and Castalleros and another arm we could flip for Rizzo.

  • BetterNews

    Cubs hired Bill Buckner? Say it isn’t so. Is this just a bad nightmare?

    • BetterNews

      Buckner is a Sox reject and informer! Shoot the Goat!

  • Mike F

    word out of Detroit and I don’t remember where, one of the Detroit beat writers I think Detroit wouldn’t give up Castaerosil. If the Cubs got either the original 4 including Turner, Oliver and either 2 top 10 prospects like rumored, or a 3rd pitcher instead of the position players I’d have to say the trade is full value. This was a bout pitching we all need to remember that. We also need to remember Theo traded 4 players for Gonzalez and one of those was Rizzo, and Byrnes traded him back into AAA, so I really believe Rizzo is a separate deal and if all were doing is finding a way to bring Rizzo it’s a bad deal. On it’s own merits in my book, Turner and Oliver are good enough to make a deal for Garza. Turner is as close as you will get in this day to a 20 year old can’t miss that someone might trade. Oliver is a excellent bonus. And I wouldn’t screw around with Byres, Rizzo should not demand a prospect package better than Jaclson and Carpenter for example. Indeed an excellent deal would be one prospect maybe two depending on the quality and Cashner.

    The only reason to trade Garza is for young arms and I like Garza a lot, but have to say if you can add Turner and Oliver, that’s a pretty high package alone. Earlier today the Detroit beat guy I think it was seemed to think it was maybe slow and he said they would trade both Cast…. and Turner in the Gonzalez deal and didn’t think they would hear either. But if they happened to trade Turner, Caste…., and Oliver that qualifies as a blown over deal, And I would pier anything of that off to Byrnes and San Diego. Just a word of caution, some think the Cubs haven’t fared well in offers, so if that’s the case, Garza is too good to just trade, but I do like Turner and Oliver

    • BetterNews

      I don’t what to think anymore. I was going over Garza highlights from last year and the more I watch the more I think of him as an “elite” pitcher. He has just learned how to set up his nasty “slider” with his fastball. Again, a Garza trade would make me sick. I don’t see it happening, frankly.

  • Mike F

    Keep in mind I just took an Ambien and as along as I only took 1 I should be lucid. The wall bears sometimes attack for those of you who have to use them, but I found the cite it’s weak because of my relaxed condition but I think it’s from Heyman or Morsoi:

    “The Tigers have quietly pursued starting pitchers throughout the offseason. They tried to acquire Gio Gonzalez before he was dealt from Oakland to Washington, but those efforts stalled when the A’s demanded righty Jacob Turner and third baseman Nick Castellanos. Because Garza comes with fewer years of control, the Cubs would be less likely to insist on both Turner and Castellanos in talks with Detroit.”

    And if Dombrowksi wants him there’s nothing that would preclude such a deal. But yes, I would do that deal for Turner, Oliver, the OF or Catcher if they won’t trade Cast…, but would prefer two higher ned pitching prospects or one more real arm to the two gems. Would be a good deal if indeed they feel the have to trade him.

  • cubsin

    Castellanos won’t be part of the deal. I expect the Cubs will get Jacob Turner, one of their top LHP’s (Oliver, Crosby or Smyly) and one or two other prospects. There’s a good chance one or both of the other prospects will be a 2011 signee, so the trade may not be announced until mid-January,

    • BetterNews

      You should be a comedian.

  • MrCub73

    This is just a Cubs fan awake at 2:30 am that should have been asleep four hours ago (Mike F – got an Ambien you can share), but now that Detroit may have become the front runner for Garza, some past trade rumors have came back to me. This is nothing I have heard, so take it merely as that a fans maybe farfetched thought, but was it not rumored in several reports about two weeks ago that the Tigers were interested in Chase Headley? Also, a rumor came out in the last day and 1/2 or so that Rizzo could be traded to Tampa and flipped to the Cubs in the next week or two. Maybe Rizzo to the Cubs is true but not through Tampa,thus there could be a three team deal in the works? Could it be that Garza will be traded to Detroit, but in a three team deal could Chase Headley be included? The Cubs also get the long rumored piece they has sought in Rizzo. With that all in mind and the Cubs roster currently at 39 and Reed Johnson also waiting to be added to the roster, someone besides Garza is leaving the roster if say Turner and Oliver head to Chicago in a Garza deal. So, do pieces off the MLB roster get included in a deal that ultimately brings prospects from Detroit and Rizzo from San Diego to Chicago (which would be another roster spot) with Garza and Headley going to Detroit?

    This may be just a crazy thought from someone four hours past his bed time, but just saw some possibilities, although they may be very slight or not even possible.

  • Cubsin

    If the Cubs are getting Turner, Oliver and Rizzo and the Tigers are getting Garza and Headley, somebody is going to have to pony up enough to make the Padres happy. I’d guess Soto, Cashner or Jackson from the Cubs plus players or prospects from the Tigers.

  • Lou Cub

    If the cubs are trying to rebuild..why would you move 2 really good young players?? Think about it..No way do I move Jackson or Cashner…McNutt and a middle infielder yes..Chris Carpenter yes!! Garza should bring back 3-4 good pieces hopefully a young second baseman we could flip with McNutt to SD for Rizzo.

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