St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed Cuban free-agent outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to the team’s Major League Spring Training camp. Garcia, who turns 24 on March 2, was the MVP of Serie Nacional (Cuba’s top professional league) in 2016 and was declared a free-agent by Major League Baseball last December.
“As we continue to look for ways to add talent to the Cardinals organization, we are grateful for the efforts of Moises Rodriguez (Director, International Operations) and Matt Slater (Director, Player Personnel) in helping us to do so,” stated Cardinals’ Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak.
The younger brother of Atlanta Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, Adolis played for Tigres de Ciego de Avila, leading them to back-to-back Serie National championships in 2015 and 2016 and another title in 2012.
The right-handed hitting Garcia batted .315 with a .395 on-base pct. and .517 slugging mark last season during his MVP campaign and hit .322 in 2015.
Garcia, a native of Ciego de Avila, played for Team Cuba during the July, 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and belted three home runs, including a walk-off shot to defeat Puerto Rico in the Bronze Medal Game. He also played for Cuba against the Team USA National Collegiate team during the June, 2015 Friendship Series in North Carolina.
Garcia played briefly for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball League last season. He will be assigned uniform no. 75 for Spring Training.
Brian Walton’s take
Could the Cardinals have added that extra right-handed hitting outfielder some had hoped for? In reality, it is unclear whether Garcia is truly MLB-ready and the minor league contract suggests there is doubt. The next month may be crucial in answering that question – at least initially. His strengths are said to be his speed and strong throwing arm.
It is worth noting that Garcia was released from his contract with the Japanese minor league team mentioned above, amid concerns about lack of plate discipline. He was ranked by Baseball America as the 20th-ranked Cuban prospect available, from a somewhat-depleted pool. Further biographical information can be found here.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is the Cardinals’ 28th international signee and fourth Cuban since the 2016-2017 July 2nd class opened. Details of the first 25 can be found here.
However, because of Garcia’s age, he is exempt from team bonus pools, not unlike the Cardinals’ addition of countryman Aledmys Diaz three years ago on a four-year, $8 million contract. As the Cardinals have already exceeded their pool allocation, any further signings of eligible players are being assessed a 100 percent penalty by MLB, which they have avoided with Garcia.
Garcia is receiving $2.5 million for signing, reports MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
For roster tracking purposes, Garcia has been assigned to Triple-A Memphis, as reflected both here and on the organizational Roster Matrix.
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