Mets are expected to bid for Cuban SS Alfredo Rodriguez

By Danny Abriano

The Mets are expected to be among the high bidders for Cuban SS Alfredo Rodriguez, reports Jim Bowden.

The 21-year-old Rodriguez recently left Cuba in order to pursue a contract with a major league club.

Rodriguez, who is viewed as a plus defensive shortstop, was the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year for Serie Nacional in Cuba and won their gold glove award. In 304 plate appearances last season, Rodriguez had a triple slash of .265/.301/.284.

Here’s a scouting report on Rodriguez from Ben Badler of Baseball America:

"Rodriguez, 21, has a long way to go as a hitter but was arguably the best defensive shortstop in Cuba. He’s an athletic, agile defender with smooth, fluid actions. He’s extremely light on his feet and has good body control and range, with an average arm.If Rodriguez gets to the major leagues, he likely will never hit higher than the bottom of the order, if his righthanded bat improves enough to get him there…Rodriguez did have some solid offensive years in the Cuban junior leagues, but his bat is still light. Based on his present ability, he would probably start his career at one of the Class A levels."

Rodriguez should be able to agree to a contract during the upcoming signing period, which begins on July 2.


Rodriguez sounds like he’ll at least be a back up in the majors, and he’s young enough that he should perhaps have room for growth offensively.

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However, while it’s nice to hear the Mets linked to an international free agent for once, it’s a bit puzzling that they would be after a shortstop with major offensive question marks who would likely start his career in High-A ball.

While the Mets should be seeking a defensive upgrade over Wilmer Flores, it can be argued that they have two options better than Rodriguez already in their system.

Shortstop Gavin Cecchini, 21, is in Double-A Binghamton, and he’s viewed as someone who should become an average regular on both sides of the ball in the majors — perhaps as soon as 2016.

The Mets also have gifted 19-year-old shortstop prospect Amed Rosario playing with High-A St. Lucie. While Rosario is viewed as a bit of a project, he has tremendous potential both as a defender and at the plate.

It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out when the bidding for Rodriguez gets underway. Perhaps this is the first sign that the Mets are ready to seriously engage in the international free agent market.