The Los Angeles Dodgers decision to not go over their allotted signing bonus money for Yoan Moncada has largely been tied to the assumption they’ll spend big on the next influx of Cuban talent when the 2015 international signing period opens on July 2.
While that may certainly hold true, the Dodgers’ projected spending spree may also include Dominican center fielder Starling Heredia. According to Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs, the Dodgers have replaced the Chicago Cubs as the team tied most to the 16 year old:
I heard Heredia tied to the Cubs in October, but it wasn’t a done deal. I’ve been hearing him most with the Dodgers for the last month or two and that was a curious situation pre-Moncada signing, with most scouts assuming the Dodgers would sign Moncada, taking them out of play for the top 2015 July 2nd prospects. With the Dodgers decision to forego signing Moncada in the current period, allowing them to spend freely in the upcoing 2015 signing period, Heredia is still in play and their top 16-year-old target, but a deal isn’t done.
Although McDaniel reports interest from the Dodgers, he adds the club may be taking a slow approach to a potential signing that may be in the neighborhood of $3 million:
As I mentioned in my latest Yadier Alvarez update, the Dodgers are eyeing the option to go well over in 2015 and getting a number of players like Heredia, Alvarez and others, but one executive said the Dodgers were “dragging their feet” on this decision and “stringing out” Heredia. If Heredia signs with the Dodgers, the most common number I’m hearing is $3.0 million.
Along with Heredia, the Dodgers have been tied to Yadier Alvarez and Hector Olivera, among others. Olivera is the oldest of the group at 29 years old and has more than five years experience in a Cuban professional league, which means he isn’t bound to the same signing guidelines as the younger and more inexperienced international prospects.
Given his young age, signing Heredia would certainly be a move for the future. It also raises an interesting scenario should he and Joc Pederson both pan out as center fielders. Putting an estimate on Heredia reaching the Majors at six to seven years, Pederson would only be 28 or 29 years old.
Of course, a general presumption is if an outfielder is capable of playing center field, they likely can also play either of the corner spots. Coincidentally, left field is one of the positions the Dodgers don’t have a highly touted prospect at in their farm system.
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