Monday, October 27, 2014

New Cuban Defector May Be Out Of Sox Reach

Andy Ibanez
As more and more quality players flee Fidel Castro's Prison Island, the stakes grow higher for the teams that want to sign talented Cuban players. The latest news is that the eighth-best player left in Cuba has, in fact, left Cuba. Andy Ibanez, a 21-year old second baseman, reportedly escaped Cuba before the start of September's Serie Nacional season. Because he has played fewer than three years in Cuba, Ibanez is subject to the rules governing the 2014-15 international bonus pool process. So, if he fails to qualify for free agency before next June 15th, the Red Sox (who have already exceeded their international pool spending limits) could not sign him. Ibanez is considered a steady—though not superb—player. The right-handed hitting Ibanez batted .267 last year and won a Gold Glove in his rookie year in 2011-12.