The Cuban Muscle Situation
That’s not to say the Braves won’t be involved on very good players. Ten days ago they were among a cluster of teams who attended a workout by Dairon Varona. According to a report from Keith Law on ESPN (Insider Subscription required) scouts “from almost all MLB clubs” attended. Varona defected nearly a year ago and worked his way through the political maze necessary to play here. In that link there’s a video of part of the workout.
According to Obstructed View who also provided the comp chart below, Varona’s a 5’9” , 170lb centerfielder with okay but not great offensive numbers who would likely start at AAA.
That post suggests Varona and Alvarez who signed with the Orioles in 2013, were comparable bats while Varona was a better defender. Here are Alvarez’ stats since signing with the O’s.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 1/22/2015.
Varona does appear to be pretty quick.
Law’s scouting report from the workout suggested that he agrees Varona will need time in AAA to work on his s swing before dealing with major league pitching. While the Obstructed View report suggested that because Alvarez’ signing for an $800K bonus was a precursor of what Varona would cost Law suggests that a shortage of players like him might drive the price up quite a bit.
"“I think he’ll end up close to eight figures as a potential big league backup. . and the fact that the Cuban market is so overheated right now — it’s almost like every team has to have one, just to say they do — can only help him."