Yikes. So maybe that’s why Lazarito hasn’t signed yet …
Cuban phenom Lazaro “Lazarito” Armenteros was the buzz of the international scouting world for a good portion of January and early February. Once the 16-year-old finally became eligible to sign … silence. It was odd, but reasonably enough explained by the possibility that he was going to wait to sign until the next IFA period, which opens July 2, to cash in on a bigger signing bonus.
But it might actually be a lot more complicated, more bizarre, and more frightening than that.
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi today report that Lazarito’s agent in the United States, Charles Hairston, who had been negotiating with MLB teams, dropped Lazarito as a client. Why? He says his life was threatened by the player’s representative or trainer in the Dominican Republic. The specific person was not named.
Apparently, the DR reps for Lazarito wanted him to sign as soon as possible (understandable, because they’d prefer to be paid now and have the guarantee in place), but the stateside reps were trying to coordinate visits with teams that will not sign him until the next IFA period. The Dodgers, Padres, and Braves are mentioned, specifically.
It still doesn’t seem like Lazarito will be signing with the Cubs, but the story, because of it’s impact on the market and because of ongoing Cuban player issues, is worth following. Give the Rosenthal and Morosi report a read.