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Epstein among those to watch Cuban player showcase

More than 170 in attendance as young prospects, some not yet eligible, work out in Dominican Republic

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was among more than 170 scouts and officials who watched a showcase for some Cuban players in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

Among the players participating were right-handed pitcher Norge Ruiz and lefty Cionel Perez. Ruiz, 21, is considered more of a finesse pitcher with a fastball that hovers in the 89-93 mph range, according to scouts. Perez, 19, also throws in the 89-93 mph range, and scouts say he's still getting a feel for his changeup and slider. Neither pitcher has been declared a free agent.

The Cubs also are among several teams to show interest in Adrian Morejon, Jorge Ona and Jonatan Machado. Machado, 16, profiles as a leadoff hitter and has some speed. Nicknamed "Ichiro," he can play shortstop and center field. Machado is free to sign. Ona, 19, an outfielder, also has speed. Morejon, 16, has starred in international competition. The lefty has four pitches. Neither Ona nor Morejon have been declared free agents.

The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Royals -- who will not be able to sign any pool eligible prospects for more than $300,000 for the next two international signing periods after exceeding their bonus pools this year -- are still in play for players eligible to sign under the international guidelines.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for Jesse Sanchez contributed to this report. Muskat writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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