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Cuban defector Gerardo Concepcion declared a free agent

Jan 18, 2012, 3:50 PM EDT

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UPDATE: Rojas reports that Concepcion has now officially been declared a free agent, with the Yankees, Rangers, Phillies, Cubs, and White Sox showing the most interest.

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Cuban defector Gerardo Concepcion has established residency in Mexico and the 18-year-old left-hander is close to being declared a free agent by MLB, according to agent Jaime Torres.

Torres told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that Concepcion will soon be cleared to negotiate with teams after going 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA to win the Rookie of the Year award in Cuba.

He defected in June when the Cuban team was in the Netherlands for a tournament, with Rojas noting that Aroldis Chapman defected at the same tournament in 2009 before signing a $30 million deal with the Reds.

Last week Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune wrote that Concepcion “is considered a finesse pitcher but has succeeded with his command,” suggesting that he won’t be in line for a huge, Chapman-like deal.

  1. Detroit Michael - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    You’d think that Cuba would stop sending teams to tournaments in Netherlands soon.

    • bobwsc - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      unless the appeal of hash bars and brothels is too much to pass up.

    • cktai - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:53 AM

      Cuba realises that going to international tournaments holds the risk of defectors, but that risk is in no way limited to tournaments. José Contreras defected while playing in Mexico, Livan Hernandez and Kendrys Morales escaped from the island.

      Cuba have been coming to the two Dutch international tournaments (Haarlem Honkbalweek on even years, World Port Tournament on uneven years) since at least 1995 (my data does not go back further than 1995). These are events that draw crowds comparable to the Baseball World Cups, have an excellent atmosphere, and provide Cuba with an excellent opportunity to square up against rivals such as Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands. I’d expect them to keep coming to the Netherlands for years to come.

  2. ptfu - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    “Last week Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune wrote that Concepcion “is considered a finesse pitcher but has succeeded with his command,”

    Wait, what? Isn’t that what finesse pitchers try to do? Succeed with command? So Rogers’ statement is really a strange way of saying Concepcion is a successful finesse pitcher.

    “…suggesting that he won’t be in line for a huge, Chapman-like deal.”

    Eh, OK. But there’s that “success” thing that was just mentioned. If he’s decent enough and healthy enough, he’ll eventually get paid for it. Worked out OK for Greg Maddux, and even Jamie Moyer, bless his ancient little heart.

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