Cuban Prospect Osvaldo Hernandez Declared Free Agent
Osvaldo Hernandez may not be considered one of the top international prospects, but he is still an intriguing talent. The 18 year old lefty has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
When perusing the list of top international free agents heading into this signing period, the name Osvaldo Hernandez did not appear. Although he was not named in any of those lists, that does not mean that Hernandez is not an intriguing player. At just 18 years old, the Cuban lefty has a fastball that has been clocked in the low to mid 90’s, which is enough to put him on the radar of virtually every MLB team.
As such, there is already a great deal of interest in the young pitcher. At least seven teams are already interested in Hernandez, and that number may well increase now that he has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
Cuban LHP Osvaldo Hernandez, 18, declared FA & can sign. He’s 92-94 mph. List of teams interested include SD, CIN, HOU, NYM, ATL, TEX, BOS.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 11, 2017
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It is usually common for prospects to wait a bit after being declared a free agent before signing. There are the typical showcases, and then the maneuverings of those teams unable to spend in the current signing period, trying to be in the picture once that deadline passes. That may not be in Hernandez’ plans however. Not only is there a great deal of interest in his services already, but the changing rules for the next signing period may behoove the young lefty to sign as soon as possible.
The catch with signing before July 2 would be that several teams would not be able to vie for his services. The Yankees and Red Sox would no longer be limited in the amount they could spend, and Boston would finally have finished their penalty for previous signing violations and be allowed to again enter the international free agent market.
As an 18 year old lefty with a fastball that already touches the mid 90’s, Osvaldo Hernandez has already generated a great deal of interest. Now that he can sign, he may not be available for long.