The Yankees have signed Cuban outfielder Adonis Garcia for $400,000.
Garcia, a 26-year-old righthanded hitter, is only 5-foot-7, 180 pounds and doesn't have any standout tools, so it's hard for scouts to see him fitting in as a big league regular. However, he has a strong track record of hitting in Cuba's top league, Serie Nacional. His bat is advanced enough that he figures to reach Double-A or Triple-A quickly.
Garcia debuted in Serie Nacional in 2004 and had a breakout year for Ciego de Avila in 2008-09, when he hit .355/.426/.613 in 282 at-bats. In his final season before leaving Cuba, Garcia batted .334/.397/.623 in 308 at-bats in 2010-11. He played this winter in the Venezuelan League, where he hit .270/.313/.461 in 152 at-bats during the regular season, then batted .376/.431/.548 in 93 at-bats in the Venezuelan League playoffs.
Garcia mostly manned left field during his time in Venezuela, but he has also played some at second and third base in the past. MLB in August had declared Garcia not be eligible to sign for six months due to fraudulent residency papers.
Garcia's bonus will not count toward the Yankees' international signing bonus pool for the 2012-13 signing period. Those rules kick in on July 2, though Garicia would have been exempt anyway because he is at least 23 years old and has played in a recognized Cuban professional league for at least five seasons.
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