The Reds are expected to add another highly touted Cuban player to their system this week.The club and shortstop Jose Israel Garcia, 19, have agreed to a signing bonus expected to be near $5 million, according to sources. The deal, which is pending a physical and has not been confirmed
The Reds are expected to add another highly touted Cuban player to their system this week.
The club and shortstop Jose Israel Garcia, 19, have agreed to a signing bonus expected to be near $5 million, according to sources. The deal, which is pending a physical and has not been confirmed by the club, is expected to become official Thursday.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Garcia is an intriguing prospect. A veteran of the Cuban junior leagues -- 16U and 18U -- Garcia also played for Cuba at the 18U World Cup two years ago.
A plus runner with a plus arm and quick feet, the right-handed hitter projects as an everyday shortstop. Garcia is athletic with line-drive gap-to-gap power, and he has the potential to hit home runs.
The signing will mark another bold move for the Reds on the international front. In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement that governs the 2016-17 signing period that expires June 15, each team was allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool with four slot values based on the team's record in 2015 for the international signing period. Cincinnati's pool total was $5,163,400, and the club passed that threshold and into the maximum penalty by signing Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez for $7 million in July, and right-handed pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez for $4.75 million in September.
Including the Garcia signing, the Reds will have committed more than $17.5 million to 20 prospects during the current international signing period, and they will be subjected to an additional overage fee close to $12.5 million. Cincinnati, which will have $5.25 million to spend when the next international signing period begins July 2, will not be allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 for the following two periods as part of the penalty.
The deal was first reported by Baseball America.
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.