With the off-season now in full swing, the rumors and reports are starting to build, many that include the Los Angels Dodgers. The team seems to have interest in another player from Cuba, coming off the signings of Yasiel Puig and Alexander Guerrero in the past two years.
According to solobeisbol.com, the Dodgers are among a few teams monitoring a certain Cuban prospect (in Spanish):
This Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers will evaluate (Yenier) Bello at Gasmart Stadium, home of the Tijuana Toros.
The 28-year-old defected from Cuba earlier this year and has been cleared by Major League Baseball to sign; however, he hasn’t yet been cleared by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. That process could be done within the next few months, making him eligible for the 2014 season.
Bello has been scouted by a few teams already, including the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers will get their first up-close look at the catcher next. Reports have said that teams have been impressed with Bello’s arm strength and power at the plate.
In Cuba, Bello played for the Sancti Spiritus of the Serie Nacional and almost made the Cuban team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He’s thrown out exactly half of potential base stealers in his nine year career in Cuba. Bello is a career .276 hitter in Cuba and had his best year two seasons ago when he hit .320 with 21 home runs and 73 RBI in 92 games.
The Dodgers are not in the immediate market for a catcher but could be looking to add depth to the position.
ICYMI: The Dodgers signed starter Dan Haren to a one-year deal earlier in the off-season