Following Lazaro “Lazarito” Armenteros  has been a fun journey, so far. Something about all of the waiting, the hype, mixed reports, and wildly varying opinions on his talent just makes it one of those stories you can’t get enough of. But every story needs an ending, and according to Ken Rosenthal, Lazarito’s might come soon:

According to Ken Rosenthal, Lazarito is still working out for and negotiating with several MLB teams, as he prepares to make a final decision by February 10. If you recall, he had a largely attended open showcase at the San Diego Padres facility in the Dominican Republic on January 8, but that came with mixed reviews. He has since been formally cleared by MLB to sign.



Despite the mixed reviews, because Lazarito is still obviously very physically gifted at just 16 years old, he should command a healthy sum to acquire. Because of the IFA restrictions, the Cubs, Giants and Dodgers remain favorites to sign the young outfielder, since each has deep pockets, a heavy hand in international free agency, and has already blown out its spending pool.



It was never very likely that Lazarito would have waited for the next IFA period – which begins on July 2 – to sign a deal, but the possibility always existed. If he had waited, the Cubs would have been ineligible to sign him for more than $300,000, which basically means they would have not been able to sign him. But with a decision expected by February 8, the Cubs find themselves in as good of a position as anyone, to strike a deal.

[Brett: And, as we’ve said before, even if the Cubs don’t wind up the team that signs him (how could you bet against the Dodgers at this point?), his availability and the costs associated thereto could help them target other Cuban players in this period.]


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