The Cincinnati Reds have an agreement to sign Cuban shortstop Jose Israel Garcia according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
The Reds have an agreement in place to sign 19-year-old Cuban infielder Jose Garcia, pending a physical. It will be a minor league contract with a bonus expected to be around $5 million.
Updated to add the video, via Baseball America’s Youtube Channel
On Friday I wrote a little bit about Cuban shortstop Jose Israel Garcia. Within there, I noted that I was able to speak to two people who had seen the 19-year-old play and here’s what I wrote:
One source said he was a good prospect, but not a top 15 caliber guy in this class. I should have asked whether he meant the 2016-2017 class or the upcoming class of players that will be eligible to sign on July 2nd, but I didn’t think about it at the time. The other person said something similar, saying that he was ok, but not a top level guy.
I was able to speak with another source who has seen Jose Israel Garcia play and their view was quite a bit better than the other two guys that I spoke with last week. His view was more along the lines with what Jon Heyman has been reporting. Garcia’s an up-the-middle guy defensively, but a guy who has a good bat, too. He’s a physical guy already at 19. While I was told he’s not on the same level of a guy like Luis Robert, the source did say he’d rank him right there with any of the position players in the 2017 draft.
The Cincinnati Reds have been considered the favorite for the services of Jose Israel Garcia according to Jon Heyman last week. The $5M spent to sign Garcia will carry a $5M penalty that will be paid to Major League Baseball. The team has now spent $33.5M (including penalties) on three Cuban players in the 2016-17 International signing period, locking up shortstops Garcia, Alfredo Rodriguez and Vladimir Gutierrez. While the big league payroll dropped off, the team hasn’t been cheap on the international market as they continue to add talent and try to build for the future.