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Rangers to sign Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin for $15 million

Apr 13, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

leonys martin cuba

Last week the Rangers were said to be close to signing Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin and now Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the deal could be finalized as soon as today.

According to Grant the 23-year-old center fielder “is expected to receive a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $15 million” and will also get a spot on the 40-man roster as part of a major-league contract. Despite the MLB deal he’s expected to start out at Single-A or Double-A.

Most everyone seems to agree that Martin is a good prospect, but his star potential draws mixed reviews. Here’s part of a scouting report from John Manuel of Baseball America:

He’s a left-handed hitter whose best tools are his speed and defense. He’s a plus runner at least, being timed in 4.1 seconds to first base from the left side … and showed strong small-ball skills, with the ability to drag bunt for hits and handle the bat on the hit-and-run. He also played center field and showed at least average range.

Is a speed-and-defense center fielder with limited power worth a $15 million signing bonus? I have no idea, but six months ago Manuel speculated that Martin “figures to garner a seven-figure signing bonus.” Now, “seven figures” could have meant $1 million or $9 million, but either way Martin is going to end up with significantly more upfront money than expected when he first defected from Cuba and Julio Borbon should probably start looking over his shoulder.

  1. angrycorgi - Apr 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    JD hasn’t made any bone-headed personnel moves lately, so this must be his attempt to even things out.

  2. Richard In Big D - Apr 13, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    What exactly do you mean by bone-headed? Do you mean getting Cliff Lee for half a season at no cost to the club? Do you mean converting a failed closer to the rotation? Do you mean adding one of the best defensive 3rd basemen in the game and in doing so, creating the best utility player/DH in the game? What bone-headed moves are you speaking of, exactly?

  3. nf7mate - Apr 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Don’t forget about that bone-headed Teixeira trade, lol. JD is fine by me. I know, I know, Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines, but that was a long time ago and JD is definitely one of the reasons the Rangers won the AL last year.

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