The Baltimore Orioles signed Cuban prospect Henry Urrutia to a $778.5k bonus last summer with the intent of giving the outfielder some late-season playing time in their minor-league system. As months went by and the calendar turned to 2013, however, Urrutia had still yet to put on an Orioles uniform.
The 26-year-old successfully defected from Cuba last year (after a failed attempt the year before led to a one-year suspension from the Cuban League) but has been working to acquire a visa for the States from Haiti ever since. Some six months later, Urrutia has at last obtained his paperwork and made his way to the US, reports Roch Kubatko of MASN:
The search for Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia has come to an end.
Urrutia obtained his work visa and made it out of Haiti. I'm told that he's in Miami and will take his physical before reporting to the Orioles' minor league complex at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.
Listed at 6' 5", 195 lbs, the wired-framed outfielder batted .397/.461/.597 with 12 home runs during his final season in the Cuban League (2010), and walloped 114 extra-base hits in his five years in the league overall.
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It is not known how much the outfielder trained while awaiting his visa in Haiti, so it's unclear where he'll start out in the Orioles' system. The club planned on assigning him to its Double-A affiliate in Bowie last summer, so it's reasonable to assume he'll start out there.