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View Full Version : Cuban player defects.. hmmm could the Reds land him?



redsfan4445
06-08-2008, 10:58 AM
per the Miami Hearld:


Cuban baseball player defects
Dayán Viciedo, a promising 19-year-old third baseman, wants to play baseball in the major leagues.

Cuban baseball's brightest star, Dayán Viciedo, has escaped from Cuba and is now in Miami, following the footsteps of talented island colleagues who have found their way into the major leagues.

Viciedo, a 19-year-old third baseman, is considered as big a star in Cuba as Omár Linares, the most well-rounded player to emerge from the Cuban leagues since 1959 and a player highly coveted by major league scouts during the 1980s.

''At first I didn't like to be compared to Linares because he is almost a legend,'' Viciedo said. ``Later, I felt proud. As a third baseman I have two idols: Linares from the Cuban National Series and Alex Rodriguez from the major leagues.''

LEFT CUBA IN MAY

Viciedo left Cuba on a boat bound for Mexico on May 20, accompanied by his family. Several days later he crossed the border from Mexico and traveled to Miami to reunite with friends and relatives.

''Most Cuban ball players dream of playing in the major leagues,'' he said. ``This is an aspiration that comes with risks, but I was willing to take them in order to try out. Inside, you have the desire to know if you have a place among the best in the world, if you belong to the elite.''

According to a person within the Cuban Baseball Federation, the authorities there already knew of Viciedo's escape to Mexico. His name was not included in the list of 43 players chosen to represent Cuba at the Beijing Olympics this summer.

Born March 10, 1989, in the town of Remedios, in the central Cuba province of Villa Clara, Viciedo is regarded as the best Cuban baseball player in the past eight years after Kendry Morales, who defected in 2004 and now plays in the Los Angeles Angels' system.

''Dayán is going to spark a lot of talk in the majors,'' said his agent, Puerto Rican lawyer Jaime Torres.

``He has arrived with youth, he is very versatile and his conditioning is exceptional. We will soon see him wearing the uniform of a major league team.''

Torres added that Viciedo reminds him of Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez.

VERSATILE PLAYER

Standing 6-2 and weighing 202 pounds, Viciedo is known as a powerful batter and a versatile defender, capable of playing shortstop, third base and outfield, and he even can pitch. His fastball has been clocked at more than 90 mph, but he said his pitching days are over.

Since age 9, he has played for Cuban national teams in all categories, and at 15 he started playing in the Cuban national championship. He is the first Cuban to play for three national teams at the same time -- 15-16 year-olds, juveniles and majors.

In January 2006 he became the youngest player to participate in the All-Stars game and was selected that same year for the World Baseball Classic held in the United States.

''He is a young man with tremendous talent, but had lately become unmotivated and made little effort,'' said the Cuban Baseball Federation person in Cuba, who asked for anonymity to avoid government reprisals.

Viciedo said that during the last year his mind has been on his plans to defect from Cuba.

''There is still very good baseball in Cuba, and there are several youths with promise and a lot of talent that are moving up,'' he said. ``But in general the level has dropped . . . the decline has been abysmal.''



The Reds just drafted a player from Cuba.. why not add another??? AND he plays 3rd!

Highlifeman21
06-08-2008, 11:13 AM
The Reds have a snowball's chance in Hell of landing this kid.

westofyou
06-08-2008, 11:23 AM
Your Daddy's Reds had a better chance to sign him than these Reds, once upon a time the Reds were the biggest team in garnering Cuban Talent, and the first to go there too.

But now?

Big Klu
06-08-2008, 01:27 PM
I see a vision of Viciedo's future--a vision of this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/06/ALE-BOS-Logo.svg/100px-ALE-BOS-Logo.svg.png

Wheelhouse
06-08-2008, 01:29 PM
For some reason, I suspect if Krivsky were still GM, this kid would already be in the Reds organization.

mbgrayson
06-08-2008, 01:39 PM
Yonder is Cuban, maybe he knows this kids family....Of course we haven't even signed Alonso yet....I know it's early.

Joseph
06-08-2008, 02:12 PM
Cuba isn't exactly a small village though. It's like saying I live in Kentucky, so does Rick Pitino, maybe I should call him for a loan.

Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but still.

RedsManRick
06-08-2008, 02:28 PM
Cuba isn't exactly a small village though. It's like saying I live in Kentucky, so does Rick Pitino, maybe I should call him for a loan.

Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but still.

Over 11M people in Cuba, only 4M in Kentucky... I'd put my money on the Yankees -- best combination of money, prestige, and Cuban population.

cincinnati chili
06-08-2008, 02:48 PM
I understand he defected to Puerto Rico (a U.S. Commonwealth). That would mean he has to go through next year's draft before he plays.

The Cubans that we've seen come here in recent years (Contreras, Arrojo, etc) have been smuggled through Costa Rica with the help of some shady agents. Because they've defected directly to somewhere other than the US/Canada, they have not had to go through the draft.

This means that theoretically, the Reds have as good a shot at him as anybody.

redsrule2500
06-08-2008, 03:44 PM
Your Daddy's Reds had a better chance to sign him than these Reds, once upon a time the Reds were the biggest team in garnering Cuban Talent, and the first to go there too.

But now?

Yeah, back in the 70's and 80's I heard the Reds were a big Cuban pickup team. Why the Reds are actually one of the most popular teams down there, supposedly?

westofyou
06-08-2008, 03:52 PM
Yeah, back in the 70's and 80's I heard the Reds were a big Cuban pickup team. Why the Reds are actually one of the most popular teams down there, supposedly?

Havana Reds were the Reds main farm in the 50's, Tony Perez, Mike Cueller were from Cuba, the Reds also were the first team to train in Cuba and the first team in MLB to sign a Cuban player (in 1911)

LoganBuck
06-08-2008, 03:56 PM
I understand he defected to Puerto Rico (a U.S. Commonwealth). That would mean he has to go through next year's draft before he plays.

The Cubans that we've seen come here in recent years (Contreras, Arrojo, etc) have been smuggled through Costa Rica with the help of some shady agents. Because they've defected directly to somewhere other than the US/Canada, they have not had to go through the draft.

This means that theoretically, the Reds have as good a shot at him as anybody.

Was he here before the draft though?

Mario-Rijo
06-08-2008, 04:13 PM
I would definitely be in on him for 3B and/or SS (if he can actually play it), will likely be positions that need filled down the road. Apparently the Reds don't fill this way but I have little faith that we have anyone who is a better bet than EE or Janish at those positions in the system.

Chip R
06-08-2008, 10:45 PM
19, huh? Probably more like 25.

cincinnati chili
06-08-2008, 10:52 PM
Was he here before the draft though?

Good point. Here's a write-up from Baseball america, and there seems to be some disagreement about the rules.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1141

There's enough money involved that I could see this situation or another one like it ending up in court someday.

Razor Shines
06-09-2008, 01:24 AM
I thought this was going to be about a Dallas Maverick that decided he wanted to play baseball. I thought maybe Josh Howard has a 98MPH fastball.

Heath
06-09-2008, 10:56 AM
19, huh? Probably more like 25.

He has grandkids to feed.

He says ARod's his hero. He's a Yankee.

Unassisted
06-09-2008, 11:03 AM
I thought this was going to be about a Dallas Maverick that decided he wanted to play baseball. I thought maybe Josh Howard has a 98MPH fastball.That makes me wonder how Dirk Nowitzki would look sharing an outfield with Adam Dunn. :D

RedlegJake
06-09-2008, 12:31 PM
Actualy he sounds a lot like a guy we just drafted.

OnBaseMachine
06-13-2008, 02:54 PM
He also said the Reds have not contacted Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo. "MLB has told clubs not to until his situation is sorted out," Jocketty said.

The Reds will look into pursuing Viciedo once his status is resolved.

http://beta.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a261a55aa-bd74-44f9-9ed0-8100af808ffc&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

Chip R
06-13-2008, 02:57 PM
He also said the Reds have not contacted Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo. "MLB has told clubs not to until his situation is sorted out," Jocketty said.



Yeah, I'm sure no club has had any kind of contact with him whatsoever. :rolleyes:

OnBaseMachine
08-27-2008, 12:58 PM
Cuban Players Update

Posted Aug. 27, 2008 9:00 am by John Manuel
Filed under: International

Agent Jaime Torres says major league organizations are pursuing four of his clients who have left Cuba this calendar year, with former Cuban junior national team star Dayan Viciedo at the top of the list. Scouts have confirmed that two of Torres’ clients who left the Cuban junior national team in early August, lefthander Noel Arguelles and Jose Iglesias, are definitely worth pursuing.

Two scouts with American League organizations independently arrived at the same conclusion about Iglesias, an 18-year-old middle infielder. Both compared him to Orlando Cabrera for his batting stance, infield actions and offensive potential. "He’s a stud," one of the scouts said. "He’s a plus run and plus arm Orlando Cabrera clone. He’s got a quick bat but I didn’t see much power."

Arguelles, whose name was misspelled on this blog previously, was pegged as a first-round talent were he draft-eligible by both scouts as well, as both confirmed BA’s earlier scouting report. "It’s a three-quarters slot with a clean stroke," the scout said. "He’s very intriguing." Another scout said Arguelles reminded him in some ways of Twins lefty Francisco Liriano.

Torres said both players had been working out in the Dominican Republic with trainers who normally work with Dominican major leaguers, and that Arguelles had impressed them with his work ethic. "His father is huge, he’s a former goalkeeper for the Cuban national team, but if he’d been in the U.S. he would have been a defensive end," Torres said with a laugh. "So I think Noel is going to get bigger."

Viciedo came to the U.S. in late May, and at first Torres said he intended to have Viciedo declared a free agent because he had passed through the 2008 draft without being selected. In a phone interview Tuesday, Torres said he was no longer pursuing that strategy. Instead, Torres is attempting to establish third-country residency (i.e., somewhere other than the U.S. or Cuba) for Arguelles, Iglesias, teen outfielder Felix Perez and Viciedo, and the quartet is going through the U.S. government’s "unblocking" process–a procedure aimed at preventing Cubans from funneling money back to Raoul Castro’s government.

Torres did not specify the country or which organizations were interested in his players, but he said he considered Viciedo the closest to signing, perhaps in the next two or three weeks. "I hope we can have something done by the time instructional league starts," he said of Viciedo. He set November as a more reasonable timetable for Arguelles and Iglesias possibly signing.

Perez is a raw teen talent who has spent parts of two seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, batting a light .271. Torres, who represented such big leaguers as Yoslan Herrera, Jose Contreras, Yuniesky Betancourt and most recently Alexei Ramirez, admitted Perez was raw but said he had five-tool talent.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1615#more-1615

OnBaseMachine
08-27-2008, 01:07 PM
I really wouldn't be too surprised if the Reds signed one of these players. Noel Arguelles, Jose Iglesias, and Dayan Viciedo are the most interesting, with the latter of the three being the most highly touted. Jocketty said a few months ago that the Reds were interested in Viciedo so it will be interesting to see if they pursue him. Iglesias wouldn't be bad either if they think he's anything like Yunel Escobar. A few years ago I would have thought the Reds had no chance at signing any of these guys but things have changed. The Reds are now viewed as major players in the International scene after the signings of Juan Duran, Yorman Rodriguez, Junior Arias, and heavy pursuit of Michel Inoa.

camisadelgolf
08-28-2008, 03:56 AM
Why are so many people saying the Reds don't have a chance? I understand that the organization isn't exactly a hot bed for Cuban players, but the Reds have shown a willingness to throw money at players (several million dollars have been offered to Yorman Rodriguez, Juan Duran, and Michael Inoa). Not only that but the Reds currently have two minor league teams in Florida (although, granted, they might not stay much longer). Anyway, I think the Reds have less than a 10% chance of signing the guy, but I think the Reds' odds are better than half the Major League teams right now.

New Fever
11-08-2008, 04:33 PM
Free BA article:


Dayan Viciedo, the Cuban teenager who left the island in May seeking to become a free agent, has gotten what he wanted. His agent, Jaime Torres, said Saturday that Major League Baseball has declared Viciedo a free agent, and that major league clubs already are in hot pursuit.

The White Sox, who signed Torres’ client Alexei Ramirez last offseason, already have made an offer, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Torres said he’d received one other offer by Saturday morning and has scheduled two workouts in the Dominican Republic to further showcase his 19-year-old client this week.

When Viciedo first arrived in Miami in late May, Torres kept his arrival under wraps briefly, then announced in June that Viciedo had been in the U.S. and passed through the draft without being selected, making him a free agent. MLB wasn’t buying that argument, but even though Viciedo had been in the U.S., Torres was able to establish his residency in a third country, the D.R. Now he’s also gone through the unblocking process and is free to sign.

Torres said two other talented Cubans he represents, junior team defectors Noel Arguellez, a lefthander, and Jose Iglesias, a shortstop, are still going through "paperwork" to establish third-country residency and go through the "unblocking" process, a procedure aimed at preventing Cubans from funneling money back to Raoul Castro’s government.

Here’s our original scouting report on Viciedo:

Born in March 1989, Viciedo is listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, but reports are that he was bigger than that last year at the World Junior Championship in Mexico. Viciedo has excellent power and hitting ability, however, with one scout comparing him to Giants prospect Angel Villalona. He slugged over .500 two of the last three seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, its top-level league, hitting 14 homers in 2005-2006—as a 16-year-old—in his best season.

"His body could go the same route as Livan Hernandez, and when I saw him in Mexico, he wasn’t very good at third base anymore," one international scouting director said. "But he can really hit; in fact, I think he’s probably a better hitter than Villalona."

Villolona received a $2.1 million bonus from the Giants in 2006.

Another scout who had seen Viciedo was less enthused about him as a player, pegging him as a first baseman-only hitter with a bad body. "You know everybody liked Kendry Morales," the scout said, referring to the Angels’ Cuban DH/first baseman, "and he had some other tools. But his body’s gone south and he’s pretty much just a DH. So I think it’s premature to get too excited about this guy."

Viciedo burst on the scene as a 15-year-old, when he was MVP of the World Junior Championships. In Serie Nacional in 2005-2006, he made the all-star team while playing for Villa Clara. His Villa Clara manager, former national team star Victor Mesa, told Cuba’s Granma news in 2006 that Viciedo has “a good arm and tremendous power. He’s got excellent technique, but at the same time is surprisingly calm for his young age and very secure in defense.”

jojo
11-11-2008, 09:04 AM
Viciedo would kind of be redundant in the Reds' system given they have Yonder.... Viciedo is probably going to end up playing the same position.

camisadelgolf
11-11-2008, 09:27 AM
For the record, the Reds have three Cuban defects in the system (but all three went to high school and/or college in the States):
Yonder Alonso
Eddy Rodriguez
Camilo Vazquez

OnBaseMachine
11-12-2008, 11:57 PM
Viciedo is a delightful defector

By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports 3 hours, 32 minutes ago

Yahoo! Sports

At the gate for American flight 1901 on Sunday night, Jaime Torres looked around and saw a dozen familiar faces. All were headed from Miami to the Dominican Republic for the same reason.

To see the kid Torres believes will be the next great Cuban player.

From the time Dayan Viciedo hit his teenage years, hyperbole has surrounded him, so excuse Torres, his agent, for engaging in a little more. Such embroidery weaves itself into the tale of the 19-year-old third baseman, who joined Cuba’s professional league at 15, made the All-Star team at 16 and was designated heir to Omar Linares, the greatest Cuban ballplayer of the last 25 years.

“I saw Linares at his peak, and it’s a shame that a player of his caliber didn’t have the opportunity to play in the U.S.,” Torres said. “When I first heard about Dayan and the comparisons to Linares, I wanted to know if it was true.”

Linares never left the island, neither the riches nor adulation of Major League Baseball enough to tempt him. Few of Cuba’s best players do defect, leaving so many overhyped – Andy Morales and Adrian Hernandez and Maels Rodriguez and Alay Soler – that the busts nearly outweigh the successes.

Though brothers Livan and Orlando Hernandez have thrived in the major leagues, and Jose Contreras won a championship, and Alexei Ramirez and Yunel Escobar look like All-Stars in the offing, post-Revolution Cuba hasn’t produced a single superstar in more than 40 years, with Hall of Famer Tony Perez, Luis Tiant and Tony Oliva all leaving around the time Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista.

Whether Viciedo can fulfill such expectations elicits an array of opinions from talent evaluators. One National League scout based in the Dominican said Viciedo “has star written all over him.” An American League scout, attending Torres’ workout Wednesday in the Dominican town of Boca Chica, said: “Out of shape. But it looks like he can hit.” And an NL scouting director couldn’t get over Viciedo’s burgeoning belly – he’s gone from around 200 pounds as a 16-year-old to more than 230 – and said: “What’s he going to look like when he’s 21? And 25?”

Either way, Viciedo piqued enough curiosity that nearly every major league team sent a representative to see workouts Wednesday at the Chicago White Sox’s complex and Thursday at the New York Yankees’.

Once MLB declared last Friday that Viciedo would become a free agent – a determination made because he had established residency in the Dominican Republic and was not subject to the amateur draft, further muddying already murky rules on how Cuban amateurism is handled – Torres’ plan nearly six months in the making was ready to go.

Viciedo defected with his family in May after one previous unsuccessful attempt, starting a tortuous journey, first to Mexico, then to the United States, where he trained in Miami with Torres, and ultimately to the Dominican Republic, where he hoped to inspire a bidding war.

Already, Torres said, teams have offered Viciedo a major-league contract, which includes a spot on the 40-man roster. Torres said he expects his client to compete for a starting job in spring training, whether at his natural position or in the outfield.

What sort of contract teams will offer Viciedo is unclear, though there are a number of starting points. The contemporary to whom he is most often compared, San Francisco Giants prospect and Dominican product Angel Villalona, signed at 16 for $2.1 million two years ago. The last Cuban defector to score a big-league contract, Ramirez, also a Torres client, got a four-year, $4.75 million deal. And the richest went to Contreras, who received $32 million over four years.

One general manager speculated Viciedo’s contract will exceed Ramirez’s in total value and could approach eight figures, though one scout said it’s unlikely because it would be overpaying Viciedo during his pre-arbitration years.

“It’s not only the most money,” Torres said. “It’s the best opportunity. His preference is third base. Clubs want him for right field. And that option is open. If the contract is enticing enough, he’d play right field.”

Wherever Viciedo ends up, eyes will follow, wondering who he’s going to be. Which, actually, is the beauty of his youth. Viciedo can control whether he balloons like Livan Hernandez or sheds weight like Felix Hernandez, whether he is just “easygoing” as the Latin scout put it or “might be lazy” as another said, whether he regressed after hitting .337 as a 16-year-old or, like Torres said, “sometimes his mind was drifting, looking out to Florida.”

Perhaps the changing face of Cuba, with Fidel Castro perpetually ailing, will affect the United States’ policy toward the country and free its baseball players to arrive in a grand wave. The idea of a Cuban superstar would seem so trivial, what with the smokescreen of who’s really best – who Cuba keeps off its national team for fear of defection – finally lifted.

Until then, though, Viciedo is another in a long line of hyped before harrumphed. Maybe just once the hyperbole will turn out to be the truth.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-viciedo111208&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 12:07 AM
Viciedo is a long shot but I wouldn't mind seeing the Reds go after these two recent Cuban defects:

The pitcher is lefthander Noel Arguellez, who has pro size at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. Scouts describe him as tall and lanky with a live arm, with a fastball with natural cutting action and sink. One source wrote that Arguellez sits around 90 mph in his Serie Nacional appearances. He’s thrown as hard as 93 mph and works primarily off his fastball, with more rudimentary curveballs and changeups. His curve has shown potential, however. His exact age isn’t known, though the cutoff for Junior events is 18. Arguellez pitched in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, and according to baseballdecuba.com, he went 3-2, 5.82 with 22 strikeouts in 21.2 innings for the Havana Cowboys this past season.

The other player is infielder Jose Iglesias, primarily a second baseman and a righthanded hitter. Scouting details on Iglesias are harder to come by, but he’s regarded as a strong defender, and he also hit .322 in Serie Nacional this winter/spring, with 101 hits in 314 at-bats. However, one source lists Iglesias as around 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds and lacking much power. No word yet on what kind of runner he is.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1457

Mario-Rijo
11-20-2008, 05:35 AM
Just to add to the notes here, and tad more spin on him as a potential bust. CNNSI via Chicago Tribune.

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/mlb?eref=fromSI&page=14


Hyped by his agent as having walked away from a chance to become "the Babe Ruth of Cuba," 19-year-old third baseman Dayan Viciedo is as much a project as a high-level prospect. Viciedo, a free agent who is being pursued by the White Sox and other organizations, was an all-star at 16 in Cuba's highest level, the Serie Nacional, but had gained weight and reportedly gone backward before defecting to the United States last May. He has light-tower power and a strong arm, but his tools are raw and his commitment was questioned during his last two seasons in Cuba. Peter Bjarkman, an expert on Cuban baseball, has described Viciedo as an underachiever with a poor work ethic. Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel, who travels regularly to Cuba, says Viciedo was "supposed to be the next Omar Linares when he was 14 or 15, but nobody would make that sort of comparison anymore or even close to it." Nadel says Viciedo was not among Cuba's top third basemen when he defected. The White Sox are considered a front-runner to sign Viciedo because they have Cubans Alexei Ramirez and Jose Contreras on the roster. Those two and Viciedo are represented by agent Jaime Torres.

OnBaseMachine
11-20-2008, 07:12 PM
White Sox To Sign Viciedo
By Tim Dierkes [November 20 at 4:57pm CST]

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox reached an agreement with 19 year-old Cuban third baseman Dayan Viciedo on a big league deal worth about $11MM. Alexei Ramirez and Jose Contreras should help Viciedo get comfortable when he joins the big league team. In June, it was reported that 14 teams expressed interest in Viciedo.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

jojo
11-20-2008, 10:06 PM
White Sox To Sign Viciedo
By Tim Dierkes [November 20 at 4:57pm CST]

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox reached an agreement with 19 year-old Cuban third baseman Dayan Viciedo on a big league deal worth about $11MM. Alexei Ramirez and Jose Contreras should help Viciedo get comfortable when he joins the big league team. In June, it was reported that 14 teams expressed interest in Viciedo.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

This is great news for both the Reds and Mariners. First because they aren't saddled with him. Second because this is just the kind of thing that should drive down the price tag and perhaps even interest in grabbing up international players as if they are a hidden pool of extra valuable talent.