The Red Sox aren't just looking at your standard international prospects for the July 2 signing period, as they're also keeping a close watch on the free agents whose contracts won't be included within the limited draft budget. Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez is one such player, as he's already 24 years old, and with the requisite professional experience in Cuban baseball to make him a true free agent on the open market.
According to Jesse Sanchez of mlb.com, the Red Sox were one of eight teams -- including the Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers, Royals, Mariners, Diamondbacks, and Padres -- to attend Alvarez's showcase in Florida on Wednesday. The Red Sox have also been attending showcases for Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who reportedly will end up with a deal nearing $60 million.
Alvarez defected last summer, and has been noted for his strong arm. His early work in the Cuban leagues did not look like that of a capable big-league hitter according to Davenport statistical translations, but he's seemingly developed in that regard over time -- he did start over there as a teenager, after all. That doesn't mean you should be expecting Yasiel Puig or anything, but he could turn out to be a pretty solid corner outfielder between his power and arm.
The Red Sox have a few big-league options in the outfield in the high minors -- Jackie Bradley Jr. is the obvious one, and Bryce Brentz could end up being something -- but they aren't exactly overflowing with depth there. Adding someone like Alvarez, if the price isn't insane, wouldn't be a bad use of Boston's money, assuming they like what they see in his workouts.
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