Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cuban Defector on Yanks' Radar?

From MLB Trade Rumors, 19 year old Dayan Viciendo (pictured left) has defected from Cuba and may be available to sign as an MLB free agent.
(Agent Jaime) Torres said that Viciedo is in Miami with him. In fact, he asserts that Viciedo was in the U.S. before the 2008 draft, coming into the country in late May. "He was processed at the end of May. To me, he was not drafted and should be a undrafted free agent. We’ll see if the union agrees with me."

Dayan played SS, 3B and OF for the Cuban National Team and at 16 was the youngest All-Star in Cuban baseball history.
"His body could go the same route as Livan Hernandez, and when I saw him in Mexico, he wasn’t very good at third base anymore," one international scouting director said. "But he can really hit; in fact, I think he’s probably a better hitter than (Giant prospect Angel) Villalona."

Villolona received a $2.1mm signing bonus from the Giants and is currently playing at low Class A Augusta.
Ben Beadler of BA wrote of Viciedo -

Viciedo burst on the scene as a 15-year-old, when he was MVP of the World Junior Championships as a 15-year-old. In Serie Nacional in 2005-2006, he made the all-star team while playing for Villa Clara, and he almost made Cuba’s World Baseball Classic roster in 2006. He played in the ‘06 World Juniors as well, with a confrontation with current Rangers righthander Blake Beavan chronicled here. His Villa Clara manager, former national team star Victor Mesa, told Cuba’s Granma news in 2006 that Viciedo has “a good arm and tremendous power. He’s got excellent technique, but at the same time is surprisingly calm for his young age and very secure in defense.”

As it looks like it will only cost dollars to sign him, the Yanks will obviously be involved.

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