There’s another Cuban outfielder on the market and his name is Adonis Garcia. Several weeks after the Oakland Athletics signed Yoenis Cespedes to a monster four year, $36 million deal, Garcia is receiving substantial interest on the international market with a report surfacing yesterday afternoon that the 26-year-old athlete had received at least one Major League offer, a second likely on the way. While reports that the Athletics might be involved with Garcia have been roundly rejected, Jorge Ebro of El Nueva Herald indicated that the Yankees had a six year, $16 million deal on the table.
Garcia has been described as a utility player by some outlets, though this characterization may not be entirely fair. Viewed by some as a third baseman, others as an outfield, the Yankees seem to believe the later and given the size of the reported offer, one would be left to assume they view him as a starting caliber Major League player. The average value of the above deal comes out to about 2.7 million a season, far more than any team would commit long term to a fourth or fifth outfielder.
Scouting information on Garcia is hard to come by thus far. Baseball America notes that the undersized (5’7″, 180) Cuban is strong and shows surprising power and his performance in the Venezuelan Winter League after defecting would indicate as much. Still, Major League pitching is a whole new ball game and while he’s described as a good hitter with a knack for hard contact he got on base only 31.3% of the time in Venezuela and given his age wont have as much time to develop offensively as a player like Jorge Soler. Garcia is not particularly quick and his defense is probably below average, forcing him into a corner spot.
A somewhat optimistic projection would see Garcia developing into an above average big league offensive player and decent corner outfielder. He doesn’t appear to have the tools of a first division starter worthy of an eight-figure bonus, even with the impending CBA inflating the price of international talent over the next few months. Still, given the minimal information available about this player, I’m left to assume that such a bonus is an indication that the Yankees see Garcia as a potential impact player.
That is, if these reports are accurate.