The Los Angeles Dodgers emphasize a presence on the international market, specifically in Cuba. They might be making another move on that front shortly.
Jose Miguel Fernandez, a Cuban infielder who defected in December 2015 and was declared a free agent last April, is reportedly close to signing with the Dodgers.
Sources: Veteran Cuban INF Jose Miguel Fernandez nearing a Minor League deal with the #Dodgers. He defected from Cuba in December of 2015.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 8, 2017
— Universo Deportivo (@UniversoRD) January 8, 2017
Miguel Fernandez was once considered a second baseman but also transitioned to the hot corner. His defense and range have long been considered weaknesses. Despite porous defense, he’s considered to be almost MLB-ready as a disciplined bat. He impressed at his showcases and warranted interest from numerous teams, especially with his exception from the international bonus pool. In his final season in Cuba, Miguel Fernandez had the league’s second base OBP and hit .326/.482/.456 in 314 appearances.
Los Angeles may have added a contributor in 2017. Miguel Fernandez hasn’t consistently played competitive baseball over the last couple seasons (October 2014 was his last action) and being in the National League means even if his bat flourishes, his defense can’t be hidden as a designated hitter.
If Miguel Fernandez shakes off the rust, he’s another infield option for a team in need of them. While Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager are foundations of the infield, second base is a question mark. If the Dodgers don’t up their offer for Brian Dozier, Kike Hernandez is the incumbent starter.