Phillies sign promising talent from Cuba amidst MLB lockout

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: A detailed view of the Philadelphia Phillies logo against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park on May 23, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: A detailed view of the Philadelphia Phillies logo against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park on May 23, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies have signed an intriguing outfield prospect, Dariam Gutiérrez

The Philadelphia Phillies aren’t letting the MLB lockout stand in the way of them making much-needed additions to their ever-low-ranking farm system.

They’re not breaking the rules of the lockout, which stipulate no free-agent signings, big-league trades, or even contact between team owners or executives and the players. This move is nothing salacious or daring, but it is noteworthy for a team whose blighted farm system has hindered them for most of the last decade.

According to Las Mayores editor Francys Romero, the Phillies have signed outfielder Dariam Gutiérrez. The Havana, Cuba native is reportedly a legitimate outfield talent.

Romero describes Gutiérrez as an “explosive player” with “above average” speed and arm strength.

The current Phillies outfield is even barer than it was at the end of the season. In November, they exercised Andrew McCutchen’s buyout rather than his option, and Odubel Herrera, Roman Quinn, and Travis Jankowski all elected free agency. And despite the Phillies having three outfielders in their Top 10 prospects, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made it clear before the lockout that signing slugging outfielders was an offseason priority.

Gutiérrez is only 19 years old, so the big leagues are still a ways away, but it’s still encouraging to see the Phillies building a better farm system with more promising prospects.

Besides, any Phillies news during the lockout is better than no news at all.

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