Rumors: Dodgers Interested In Cuban Infielder Andy Ibanez
With the time from when the year starts until pitchers and catchers report being a “dead zone”, the rumors sure have been rampant between the Los Angeles Dodgers and a handful of Cuban players.
Yoan Moncada, Hector Olivera, Jorge Hernandez and Yadier Alvarez are the biggest names the Dodgers have been linked to. Moncada and Olivera are infielders that have drawn the most interest from the team, while the other two are hard-throwing right-handers with not much of a market yet. The Dodgers hit it big with Yasiel Puig in terms of players from Cuba, and have seen an influx of new talent from the island sign big deals in the past couple years.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, there’s another Cuban infielder that the team might have interest in:
Andy Ibanez, second base, age 21
Teams interested: Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, D-backs, Brewers, Mariners, and Padres
Best fit: Yankees, Dodgers, Giants or Padres
Likely destination: Yankees, Dodgers, or Padres
Ibanez is ready to sign, but not much has been heard about him to this point. He was the youngest player on Cuba’s World Baseball Classic team in 2013. Sanchez notes that scouts have mentioned Howie Kendrick as one of the potential comparisons for the 21-year-old infielder. The Dodgers acquired Kendrick from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this winter.
If signed, Ibanez is not expected to be ready to compete at the Major League level right away, which suits the Dodgers needs because of Kendrick in Los Angeles for at least one more year. Because of his age and lack of time in the Serie Nacional de Cuba, Ibanez would be subject to the international signing guidelines, like Moncada and Alvarez. If the Dodgers end up signing Moncada and/or Olivera, it would not appear that they would also go for Ibanez.
In the coming weeks, players should begin signing in order to be able to attend Spring Training and all the rumors will become news.
Dodgers FanFest – Zack Greinke
Are they going to start a farm team in Havana?
Ok with me. If nothing else if a couple of these guys pan out the Dodgers would have trade bait for whatever they would need. They have the money so I think they should spend it and take the risk if they believe these young guys are possible to reach the Majors. I am curious if we will ever see an actual scouting report on these guys without the hype. When they start saying “like Ramon Martinez or like Kendrick” it makes you wonder how much hyperbole is going on. Time will tell.