cubaIn what is becoming a January tradition, it looks like we have another Cuban prospect or two to obsess about …

Remember how I mentioned that those two Cuban defectors – now 23-year-old shortstop Aledmis (sometimes “Aledmys”) Diaz, and 24-year-old outfielder Dariel Alvarez – were holding a workout in Mexico this weekend, and I expected we’d hear some things about them soon? Remember how I said we hadn’t yet heard whether the Cubs were definitively in on either or both, but that it seemed likely they would be?

Well, here’s some clarity on both issues.

First, the workout. It was postponed, according to Jesse Sanchez, who says it will be at the end of this month. No reason given for the postponement, but I reckon it has to do with drumming up the maximum possible financial interest (as the offseason shakes out, more teams might know that they’ve got additional financial flexibility). Sanchez added that at least 10 teams have “strong interest” in Diaz.

Second, the Cubs’ interest. Gordon Wittenmyer cites a source who tells him that the Cubs are indeed one of many teams interested in Diaz, thought to be the better of the two prospects.

I had planned a write-up on the prospects tomorrow, so I’ll save the meat for then (including a discusion on why the Cubs would be in on a 23-year-old shortstop despite the existence of Starlin Castro and Javier Baez (spoiler alert: “assets”)) – but it’s good to know that the Cubs continue to seeks a wide variety of avenues for spending their theoretically-available dollars. Neither Diaz nor Alvarez is subject to the international spending restrictions, so the highest bidder is likely to get them. (Though having a stable of young Cuban players, as the Cubs already do, probably can’t hurt as a selling point.)

  • MightyBear

    Hey Brett, a little help. Why aren’t the Cubans subject to the international signing cap? Please advise. Thanks again.

    • Brett

      The short version is international players who’ve reached age 23, and have played a certain number of years at a professional level elsewhere, are not considered “international amateurs” for the purposes of that cap. Neither of these guys qualifies.

      • MightyBear

        I did not know that. Wild weird stuff. – Johnny Carson

        Thanks to Brett and all.

      • lukers63

        Do you think this will lead to Latin prospects now saying they are older than they actually are so the can get more money on the non amateur side of international signings?

        • Brett

          It’s already happened (he went back and forth on his age in the atypical direction) with Jairo Beras last year with the Rangers (said he was 17 so he could sign before restrictions kicked in, but there was evidence he was only 16 – or something like that). So, yes, I do think we’ll see it from time to time.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Does anyone know I there is an entire professional league down in Cuba? I feel like all I’ve read about is their national team.

    • cjdubbya

      Not Brett, but I can answer this – because they’re at least 23 y/o. That’s the IFA cutoff, and why Diaz *just* declared free agency (his birthday was on 1-5).

  • Rcleven

    Age. Cutoff is 23.

  • the sandman

    Can Diaz play 3b? Then he might be worth a look. Frankly, Id like another prospect who looks like Soler.

    • Rcleven

      From the discriptions I have read he is to be compared to Alexei Ramirez.

    • abe

      What about 2nd? This gives us more depth and more trade pieces..

      • Hee Seop Chode

        If you can play short you can presumably play second. I’m excited to learn more about Diaz

  • cubsklm

    You can’t spell CUBANS without C-U-B-S

    Let’s get all the great prospects whatever position they play.
    Not all flippable assets are pitchers.

  • Tom

    Anyone wanna bet that it ends up being the damn Dodgers who signs him?

    • Jason

      Haha ya, probably, and they’ll go about $30 million higher than the next closest bidder.

  • Dingo

    S I G N A L L T H E C U B A N S ! ! !

    • md8232

      The chair is against the wall, the chair is against the wall.

    • ncsujuri

      I second Dingo’s motion!

  • Blublud

    Id prefer Alvarez because he plays OF and is possibly MLB ready.

    • abe

      we can afford both. We are spending less on payroll and less in the draft..

      • abe

        as long as they are not on the 40 man.. I would rather not have to take off another pitcher.

        • Blublud

          If we sign Alvarez and he’s MLB ready, I suspect then that Campana will be released.

          • Blublud

            Or waive

          • Blublud

            Read wrong. Diaz is more ready.

            • Xavier

              Your an idiot you don’t release someone who can steal 60 bases in a full season they might package him in a trade.

              • Njriv


                • Xavier


              • Blublud

                Jeez. Thank buddy. Glad I could be the subject of your negativity. Im always honered when that happens.

                • DarthHater

                  I got honered once. Painful.

                  • Blublud

                    Honored. I stand corrected. The damn spell check works when you don’t want it to, but not when you need it.

              • Brett

                Let’s not call each other idiots.

                • DarthHater

                  Thanks for the moronic advice. 😉

              • Hee Seop Chode

                To steal 60 bases would require regular time in a lineup…

                • MichiganGoat

                  And get on base 60 times 😉

                  • Stinky Pete

                    Technically, only 20. Just sayin’.

                  • DarthHater

                    Also could get steals as a pinch runner.

  • Danny Ballgame

    Here’s the signing that puts us over the top!!!

  • Ramy16

    Dodgers sign everybody…we sign all Cuban baseball players! Must be the Cubs “C”

  • Ramy16

    Diaz, Castro Barney Rizzo, Castillo..sounds like a great infield to me!

    • TheRiot2

      I rather though they could be a Miami law firm. How Barney got a partnership I suppose was his great defensive ability. :)

  • clark addison

    Maybe the Cubans saw the 1994-95 Cubs road unis and thought the script read “Cuba” instead of “Cubs.”

    I wish they would resurrect that logo. Looks a lot better than the bland
    “Chicago” on the road unis.

    • MichiganGoat

      Like this

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Sending Campana/Barney/Soriano with Garza to Texas would be great (to make room on the roster for both Diaz and Alvarez). We’d get Olt + Perez or <Perez.

    Since Mike Olt can play 1B as well… at the beginning of the season, he'd bat against lefties in a platoon with Stewart at 3B. Once we trade Stewart and Vitters is called up, he can play 3B vs righties and 1B vs lefties, while Vitters plays 3B vs lefties (and LF vs righties, if he does well). Valbuena can split time with Diaz at 2B.

    Rizzo, at 100 AB vs lefties last year was .208/.243/.356 w/4 HR, 17 RBI. Don't get me wrong, that was WAY better than LaHair's 2 hits in 48 ABs or something.

    • truthhurts

      Why the Olt love? He was 24 in AA last year.

      • Mike Taylor (no relation)

        …because it was reported we already had a deal in place before Garza got hurt last year
        …because there is no 1B backup on the roster other than Steve Clevenger
        …because Mike Olt is/was the #16 overall prospect for 2012
        …because Josh Vitters could have limited playing time
        …because you should get the point by now

      • Marc

        One of the most overrated prospects out there.

      • Kenster

        Hes been blocked at first and third base for a few years thanks to the Rangers depth.. thats why. If he was in 20 other of the organizations he would have already had his time in the big leagues

    • Drew7

      Platoon Rizzo? I don’t think that’s happening.

      • Kenster

        He meant platoon Olt at third with Stewart. Read closely

    • AB

      Platoons at almost every position is a great way to ensure the Cubs will never sign a marquee free agent again.

    • Voice of reason

      Why in the world would Texas trade a top prospect for a starting pitcher who missed the entire second half with arm trouble?

      They’re not even looking for a starter and if they were Kyle loshe is ready and waiting. He is essentially the same as garza and he didn’t miss the second half of last season and they won’t have to trade a top prospect for him. Garza is also making quite a bit of money and is in the final year of his contract.

      Even if they were looking for a starter they could do better than garza without trading olt.

      Then you say give them campana and soriano and Barney too andthey will give us more of their better prospects. Come on…..

  • legen wait for it dary

    What mlb team do you think would win a football tourny out of all 30 teams i vote cubs

  • BleedingCubbieBlue

    Postponing probably helps the cubs. They have time to trade Soriano and marmol. To open up a few spots on he 40. At least one of he Cubans will be on the 40 man roster. We need to spend some money. Go get them both. This is how you rebuild.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Personally, I’d rather invest in both Diaz and Alvarez than Bourn. Yes, it is taking a chance. As you said, it is how you rebuild. I’ve read where Alvarez put up a 1.000+ OPS…similar to Cespedes’ last season in the Cuban League. And, Alvarez was a year younger.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    If they’re MLB ready top prospect/core types, I don’t think the 40 man is a concern at all.

  • TheRiot2

    I’m not sure they would need to be put on the 40 man roster at this time.

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