Phillies rumors: Team a potential landing spot for Cuban shortstop
Cuban defector Yolbert Sanchez will soon be available to sign as an international amateur free agent, and the Phillies could be a potential landing spot.
While the Phillies are heavily involved in major-league free agency right now, they also could have one eye on the international amateur free agent market. Cuban defector Yolbert Sanchez will be able to sign with clubs on Feb. 5 as reported last week by Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs.
McDaniel and Longenhagen wrote that scouts consider Sanchez worth a $2-4 million signing bonus. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported that the Orioles still have around $6 million to offer the shortstop, making them the most likely landing spot. The Dodgers have the next-most money remaining at $1.4 million, with Philadelphia behind them at $1 million according to Jesse Sanchez. The Cubs, Rangers, and Red Sox are around $700,000 to $850,000.
McDaniel and Longenhagen also offered up the possibility of Yolbert Sanchez waiting until the 2019-2020 signing period to sign a contract, opening up the field considerably. They pointed out this simply may be a tactic to get Baltimore to use more of their bonus pool to ensure he signs with them.
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Yolbert Sanchez is seen as a glove-first prospect, with Jesse Sanchez stating that his glove may be major-league ready now. McDaniel and Logenhagen noted his above-average to plus arm and speed as well. There should be no issue with Yolbert Sanchez sticking at shortstop long-term.
Yolbert Sanchez’s offensive potential is another matter. In three seasons in Cuba, he had a .297/.338/.345 line, one home run, 36 runs batted in, and 58 runs scored in 128 games, which doesn’t really jump off the page. He is profiled as a line-drive hitter, which correlates with his low slugging percentage but high batting average.
Scouts will get the chance to observe Yolbert Sanchez at a showcase in the near future if they haven’t already.
Baltimore looks like the most probable landing spot for Yolbert Sanchez given their massive bonus pool remaining compared to other teams. On the other hand, if he waits for the next signing period or Philadelphia finds a way to acquire more bonus pool money, they could make a run at him.