After the success of Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, the influx of Cuban baseball players in Major League Baseball has been noticeable.
The number of Cubans to receive big contracts after leaving their country grows each season and now players are beginning to leave earlier in their careers. As players defect and become free agents, they are almost automatically linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deep pockets and interest in foreign talent have made the Dodgers one of the favorites to sign any player.
According to Francys Romero of On Cuba, the Dodgers could be interested in another Cuban player, specifically a pitcher:
Entre 30 organizaciones me han dicho que tengo buena evaluación de los Marlins, Colorado y Dodgers. Espero pactar con alguno.
Translated: Of the 30 organizations, I’ve been told that I have good reports from the Marlins, Colorado and the Dodgers. I hope to sign with one of them.
Navarro is a 24-year-old right-hander who has pitched in four seasons in the Serie Nacional in Cuba. He became well-known after he threw a no-hitter in 2012 against Dodger signee Pablo Millan Fernandez. His career ERA in Cuba is 3.90, but had a 2.70 ERA in his last season on the island.
The young pitcher left Cuba and established residency in the Dominican Republic. He said he’s throwing mid-90s currently and hopes to have a deal sooner rather than later. The Dodgers are also expected to sign right-hander Yadier Alvarez; however, that won’t happen until after July 2. As for Navarro, he won’t be subject to the international signing guidelines because of his age, meaning that teams can offer him whatever they would like without having to worry about jeopardizing future free agents.
Adrian Gonzalez Discusses Approach To Hitting