The outflow of players from Cuba in the last 12 to 18 months has been incredible. As mechanisms – both licit and illicit – for bringing those players to the United States have increased, and as contracts in MLB have exploded, Cuban talent has followed the boom. And, indeed, though many signed this past summer – new Cubs prospect Eddy Julio Martinez among them – there is a huge number of Cuban players still available to be signed, or in the process of becoming available to be signed. Some will be free agents without any restrictions (righty Yasiel Sierra, for example, sure looks interesting), and some will be subject to international signing restrictions (that IFA signing pool stuff – where the Cubs have already blown it out, and theoretically then have an advantage over several other teams).
We talk about these prospects from time to time when an individual comes up, but Jesse Sanchez has put together a fantastic, comprehensive take on the names to know this offseason in the Cuban market. You may have heard of some of the names, but likely not all of them, and it can be easy to forget, because there are so many interesting youngsters out there.
Sanchez was also on MLB Network to discuss the explosion of Cuban prospects on the scene, generally, as well as some of the specific names to follow: