Angels Showing Interest in Yadier Alvarez
With the Angels penalties for signing International free agents coming into effect on July 2nd, their window for opportunity is closing fast. An 18-year-old recent Cuban defector, Yadier Alvarez, has managed to light up the radar gun and scouting reports since showcasing his talents recently. The hype being created is a surprise since he never played at the highest level in Cuba, but his stuff is for real.
On Monday Ross Newhan tweeted that the Angels were interested in Alvarez.
It could be said that every team is interested in a 6’3″ 175 pound pitcher who throws in the high 90s with a sharp slider. With stuff like that all teams would have to do their due diligence in evaluating him and seeing at what monetary point it makes sense for them to sign him.
With that incredible stuff comes a lot of question marks however. First is that teams can’t look at a season of work from high school or similar to determine how he can hold up for an entire season. Is he capable of remaining in the rotation or will he be an eventual bullpen arm? How much is he going to cost? How far away is he from joining a big league club? And for the Angels; When will he be eligible to sign?
Jerry Dipoto loves young pitching. It can help your team in multiple ways including as being a prime trade chip for talent that your team lacks. The trade chip value is even higher when you consider the cost of players in free agency. The Angels traded away a similar pitcher in Ricardo Sanchez in their trade for third baseman Kyle Kubitza. Alvarez would help with take away the sting of that loss.
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By some estimates, Alvarez will cost more than Roberto Baldoquin and then the 100% tax would be on top of that bonus. More concerning for the Angels is when he will be able to sign. Some reports are saying he will be available before July 2nd, and others are saying it will be after. At this point the Angels can’t be complacent and think they don’t have a chance in case he isn’t eligible before their penalties kick in and make him unattainable. If he is eligible before July the teams to already have incurred the max penalty would have a huge advantage in signing him because the other teams may not want to take him on and lose out on the new deep crop of talent becoming available after the current period.
At this point I would call it a long shot for the Angels to acquire Alvarez. But, a shot they have to aim for none-the-less.