Two Cuban prospects, outfielder Dariel Alvarez and shortstop Aledmys Diaz, have established residency in Mexico and are now officially MLB free agents, reports Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald. The young pair defected at different times last summer but both settled in Mexico.
Alvarez, 24, has been playing professionally in Vera Cruz, Mexico, since October. The 6' 2", 190-lb right-handed hitter played all three outfield positions for Camaguey in Serie Nacional. Alvarez's above-average arm has impressed MLB scouts since arriving in Vera Cruz, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
Diaz, 22, was a member of the Cuban National team and has been training in Mexico City since his arrival. The 6' 1", 185-lb shortstop is thought to be an average runner with an above-average arm. Sanchez adds on his report on the pair that Diaz is likely the closest to being MLB-ready, and can hit for both average and power.
The new rules of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulate that Cuban defectors over the age of 23 with more than three years of professional play under their belt are not subject to international signing restrictions. Because of this, it is likely clubs will wait until Diaz turns 23 in early January to sign the infielder.