To many of you that follow OFR, Chris gave us some really great insight on Uber-Prospect Kevin Maitan. Well, he isn’t the only international free agent being targeted by the Braves. News has been swirling about a Cuban 17 year old. Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, AKA Lazarito, has been linked to the Braves more and more.
In an article by MLB.com’s Atlanta is one of the teams making a big push for the Cuban teenager. He goes on to explain that among the Braves there are nine other teams “with serious interest” competing for Lazarito., he says
Tomahawk Take’s Alan Carpenter wrote about this possibility as well, which you can read about here. He talked a lot about the restrictions facing not only Lazarito, but the Braves as well, and somewhat questioned the motive behind perusing the teenage prospect.
It’s know widely among those close to the Braves, and fans to, the Braves plan on working Lazarito out on Saturday at their facility in San Pedro de Macoris. A quick inquiry to the AJC’s David O’Brien confirmed this as well as the dilemma facing the Braves and the regarding the July 2nd, international free agent signing period.
— Dan Horton (@DHorton398) February 3, 2016
I just wanted to know how serious the Braves were getting. DOB’s answer, while helpful, didn’t really tell me how serious they were getting.
Braves will work him out Saturday, but would have to outspend other teams to convince him to wait to sign July 2. https://t.co/R12rpZHVRF
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) February 3, 2016
Those other teams will NOT be the Yankees, Red Sox, D-Backs, Rays, or Angels. They have all entered the penalty bubble. That’s the good news. The bad news, everyone else is theoretically in play. However, the Dodgers, Royals, Giants, and Cubs can’t sign anyone for more than $300,000. All this coming from Sanchez.
So, where does that leave Atlanta? Honestly, I don’t know. But if they could persuade Lazarito to wait on signing, it may be worth the effort. ut as O’Brien mentioned, outspending other teams will be key. If the Braves are truly serious enough to go after him, it’s going to take more than the estimated $20 million signing bonus he is expected to command. If a bidding war breaks out, how high will Coppy and company be willing to jump?
I still feel like Maitan is the better get here, but then again, we haven’t been loading up on international slots for nothing either. Lazarito has already been cleared by MLB for free agency this year, and can be signed no sooner than 10 February. If Lazarito wants to sign now, then the Braves are out. I’m guessing he is going to want to start the season on time. I would too if I were 17 and dreamed of playing in the big leagues all my life.
We’ll know more after Saturday and Lazarito’s scheduled workout. Don’t hold your breath Braves fans, but don’t exhale too soon either.