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Tavish wrote: Kendry Morales will be a star, but he is under tight guard after already trying to defect.
Say this for the Yankees: They aren't gun-shy when it comes to Cuban free agents
One month after giving up on Contreras, whom they gave $32 million to before the 2003 season, the Yankees will send VPs Lin Garrett and Damon Oppenheimer to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and Wednesday to scout Kendry Morales, a 21-year-old switch-hitting outfielder/first baseman who will play in games designed to showcase what many believe was the best bat in Cuba before he defected in June. He has established residency in the Dominican.
Garrett has already been to the Dominican to watch Morales work out.
Morales, a Cuban refugee, has been cleared by MLB to talk to clubs. He has retained agents David Valdes and Henry Vilar. The latter has a good relationship with Carlos Rios, the Yankees' coordinator of Latin America scouting.
"The preliminary indications [are] that he looks like a player," Yankee minor league head Mark Newman said of Morales. "The difficult thing is that he has been out of circulation. The information we have on him is old. He has to show what he is."
Morales rarely played outside of Cuba but is considered that country's best position player.
Since the Yankees are involved, they will be among the favorites to land Morales, a player they can never get through the draft. And one they need to re-stock a farm system that is lacking in prospects
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