The Atlanta Braves have rebuilt their farm system through a series of blockbuster trades, but their next big addition could come from the international free-agent market.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Braves have targeted Cuban phenom Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, known as "Lazarito:"
"According to industry sources, the Braves are scheduled to hold a private workout for Armenteros, 16, on Saturday at the club's academy in San Pedro de Macoris. Armenteros, ranked No. 8 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is expected to command a signing bonus in the $15 million to $20 million range, but that number could rise if teams get into a bidding war."
Sanchez also goes on to note the MLB declared Lazarito a free agent last month and he's free to sign with a team on Feb. 10.
MLB.com lists the outfielder at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. Scouts seem to be split on the potential of Lazarito -- some rave about his athleticism while others think he's better suited for a corner outfield spot. Some loved his strong throwing arm while others said it's "fringy average." One thing they apparently all agree on, though, is that he has an uppercut swing that will need some work.
Of course, he's still just 16 years old, equivalent to a sophomore or junior in high school -- there's plenty of room for him to grow and be polished.
Because of international signing guidelines, the Angels, Diamondbacks, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees are out on Lazarito -- they all exceeded their bonus pools last year.