Atlanta Braves Interest Level in Luis Robert Could be a Math Lesson
You might be surprised to know just how many Cuban escapees have signed with MLB clubs. Baseball-reference.com lists over 200 names. Wikipedia has 99 names on their list, though there are exceptions.
One of these is Jose Fernandez, who while born in Cuba and escaped at age 15, he was subject to the Rule 4 draft. Jose Canseco is another draftee, with his family actually allowed to leave the island in 1965 when Jose was a year old.
Nonetheless, there’s getting to be a fairly large body of history in terms of both contracts and performance track records.
Several players have made good careers in the majors, with just a few arising to ‘star’ status.
Here are some recent, higher-profile signees to consider (some others not on this chart will come up later):
|José Adolis García||Outfielder||minor league||—|
|Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||Infielder||$22 million||7 years|
|Yoan Moncada||Infielder||$31.5 million||bonus|
|Yulieski Gurriel||Infielder||$47 million||5 years|
|Aledmys Díaz||Shortstop||$8 million*||4 years|
|Héctor Olivera||Second baseman||$62.5 million||6 years|
|Dariel Álvarez||Outfielder||$800,000||1 yr, minor lg|
|Adonis García||Outfielder||$400,000||1 yr, minor lg|
|Yasmany Tomás||Outfielder||$68.5 million||6 years|
|Rusney Castillo||Outfielder||$72 million||7 years|
|Miguel Alfredo González||Pitcher||$12 million**||3 years|
|Jorge Soler||Outfielder||$30 million||9 years|
|Odrisamer Despaigne||Pitcher||$1 million||bonus|
|First baseman||$68 million||6 years|
|Alex Guerrero||Shortstop||$28 million||4 years|
|Outfielder||$42 million||7 years|
|Shortstop||$10 million||4 years|
|Outfielder||$36 million||4 years|
|Leonys Martín||Outfielder||$15.5 million||5 years|
|Pitcher||$30.25 million||6 years|
|Dayán Viciedo||Outfielder||$10 million||4 years|
|Yoan Lopez||Pitcher||$16 million||($8.27m bonus)|
|Roberto Baldoquin||Infielder||$8 million||bonus|
* – Was originally said to be seeking $20-30 million
** – Was renegotiated down after failing the physical
Just look up and down this list. You have to be struck by the amount of money that was simply wasted by players who did not nearly live up to the deals they signed.
But how many of these deals have actually been “worth it?” Cespedes and Chapman certainly; Hechavarria is probably the next best deal. In terms of performance-vs-dollars, Adonis Garcia actually has to be on the ‘value’ list too.
There’s another factor in play here as well: the impact of human smugglers who have taken their own cuts from many of these deals, too.
But as that aspect has come to light, teams may very well be more wary of paying more for what amounts to a ransom for those providing transportation.
The history suggests… okay, it screams… “caution”, and does not suggest a high price.