About a week ago, we talked about how the Los Angeles Dodgers had spent a whopping $239 million on Cuban players, starting with their signing of Yasiel Puig. Well, the team might be on the verge of spending even more money on a Cuban prospect, if you are to believe reports that the team is at least interested in doing so.
The hottest prospect out there right now is 16-year old Lazarito Armenteros. He’s a Cuban outfielder who could profile with plus speed, plus bat speed, and plus power. Armenteros is toolsy, and toolsy prospects from the international market are likely to get paid a hefty sum to head on over to the states.
Because of that, the Dodgers, who are going to be heavily restricted over the next two signing periods, are said to have at least “been linked” to the young outfielder.
The Braves are making a “strong push” to sign Cuban outfield prospect Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, known as “Lazarito,” according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and Royals also have been linked to Armenteros, who turns 17 in May. Sanchez hears Lazarito could command a signing bonus in the $15 to $20 million range.
As it stands, Lazarito is the 8th ranked prospect on MLB.com’s international free agent list. The Dodgers have already signed two of the seven players above him on that list, and could be in play for both Lazarito and Cuban right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez.
If the Dodgers do decide to break the bank for Lazarito, there’s really no downside. If he pans out, they could be getting a really, really good corner outfielder with the potential to be great. If not, it’s just $15 to $20 million, if that’s what it costs, wasted on attempting to improve the team.
Due to the team having gone over the spending limit this signing period, the Dodgers will not be able to spend more than $300,000 on any international free agent over the next two signing periods. In a way, it doesn’t hurt the Dodgers to just keep spending this time around. They’re already going to be penalized, so why not spend even more?
Lazarito is eligible to be signed on February 10th. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound outfielder is on the Dodgers’ radar, so we’ll see if they can get a deal done.