• Jays To Swipe Cuban Prospect From Yankees Backyard?

    Posted by on February 25th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via the Toronto Star -

    Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos just wrapped up a scouting trip to the Dominican Republic, but wouldn’t say whether Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz was one of the prospects who worked out for Jays’ staff.

    Ruiz, 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, hit .330 during a five-year career with Santiago in Cuba’s National Series, and rumours have swirled since January that the Jays had made the shortlist of teams with a chance to sign him. On Feb. 13, his agent predicted Ruiz could sign before most major league training camps opened on the weekend of Feb. 20.

    Ruiz’s camp has been silent since then, but Tuesday the blog cubanballplayers.com reported the left-handed batter, who turns 26 next month, held a private workout for the Blue Jays. Ruiz has spent the winter training at the New York Yankees’ complex in the Dominican Republic, according to published reports.

    Agents at Prestige Sports Agency, which represents Ruiz, have not replied to emails seeking comment.

    Anthopoulos, meanwhile, confirmed that he had completed a trip to the Dominican, but would say only that Marco Paddy, the club’s director of Latin American scouting, oversaw workouts by several unnamed players.

    Ruiz has attracted attention from pro scouts for his combination of size, skill and speed. In 2007-2008 he led the National Series with 32 steals. Through 52 games in the 2008-2009 season Ruiz was batting .305 but abruptly defected to the Dominican Republic.

    Is this a big deal? Probably not – as the Yankees need a first base prospect like Lady Gaga needs another hit song at this moment. But, it’s a bit of a bummer if the Yankees having been hosting this kid all winter and then he signs with one of their rivals.

    Comments on Jays To Swipe Cuban Prospect From Yankees Backyard?

    1. clintfsu813
      February 25th, 2010 | 7:59 am

      If the Yanks allow the Jays to “swipe” a prospect…it’s because they let it happen.

    2. Jake1
      February 25th, 2010 | 9:18 am

      the yankees let plenty of kids use their facilities in these latin american countries. they dont sign everyone of them that works out there

    3. jay
      February 25th, 2010 | 10:08 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      as the Yankees need a first base prospect like Lady Gaga needs another hit song at this moment.

      Careful. Talent is talent. I believe you made this mistake a few weeks ago when you project the Yankees team a few years out. You saw that Montero couldn’t stick at catcher and just decided not to include him at all. Yet it’d be impossible to argue that, even if he can’t stick at catcher and has to move to a position where he’s blocked (like 1B or 3B) even the worst GM in the history of the game can turn a prospect like Montero into a valuable piece someplace else on the diamond.

      This is why you hear people say “draft the best talent, not for the positions you need.” If a guy gets up to the MLB level and he’s blocked, then you trade him for a piece you need. Value is value.

      Having a good farm system is not only a way to fill MLB needs with your own farm team players, but to trade them for pieces you actually need as the team’s roster goes through players declining, getting injured, etc. If they think this guy is a commodity and like his price, they should go after him even if he plays 1B.

    4. MJ Recanati
      February 25th, 2010 | 10:25 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      the Yankees need a first base prospect like Lady Gaga needs another hit song at this moment.

      I’m with Jay here.

      Further, in truth, yes, the Yanks do need a 1B prospect. Who are the Yankees 1B prospects at the moment that would preclude this kid from contributing to the team and making the organization deeper? Juan Miranda? I certainly don’t think so.

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