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Another risky Cuban. For six more years?
Okay, so maybe this one is a little less risky. The Angels signed Kendry Morales to a six-year deal.
By the way, he's not 21 like MLB is saying. He was 21 a few years ago. But whos counting? We'll have to wait and see if he's ready for the majors but he is supposed to be real good. He was clearly the best player in Cuba.
The Angels offered him a six-year deal. Six years? They haven't disclosed the terms of the deal, so it may not be for that much money, but do the Angels really want to risk a six-year major league deal on a prospect? If he's good, it will certainly be worth it, and since the Angels are attempting to become Yankees-west, they're probablly not worried in the least.
Lets go over a list off the top of baseball-reference's head of semi-recent Cuban defectors who played significant time in the MLB,
Don't forget the immortal Ozzie Canseco either. What do you notice about that list? Well besides the fact that its probablly not all-inclusive. The only thing I notice is that outside of Jose Canseco and Rafael Palmeiro, there hasn't been a good position player to leave Cuba in a long time.
Tony Perez, Minnie Minoso, and Tony Olivo were good back in the 70's, but on the surface, Cuban baseball looks very bleak when compared with the players coming out of the Dominican-Republic. It also looks like the stereotype about Cuban hitters being free swingers is correct; there are only eight Cuban born players with a over 500 games played with a career OBP over the 2004 league average of .333. Interesting.
Not that any of that affects Kendry Morales at all. Its just fun to look at. Well, it is for me at least, leave me alone already.
It will be great to watch this kid fight for a spot on the Angels next year. My fearless prediction: he will outhit Darin Erstad.