Law on Arguelles
Jeff Passan (Yahoo!) briefly connected starter Noel Arguelles—featured in the video above—to the Yankees yesterday, calling him a “luxury” for them, although he notes that the organization has stronger ties to the other left-handed Cuban defector on the market, Aroldis Chapman. I haven’t discussed Arguelles much, so here’s Keith Law’s profile on the 19-year old from his top 50 FA rankings. Arguelles was ranked number 10, which says something about his talent..
Arguelles defected from the Cuban junior national team with current Red Sox prospect Jose Iglesias in the summer of 2008 and is just now at the point that he’s ready and able to sign with a major league team. Arguelles is 19 and already pitches with a solid-average fastball, although before he defected he had worked as high as 91-94 and probably will return there once he’s throwing on a regular schedule again. His changeup projects better than his curveball, with the change a potentially plus pitch. What everyone notices about Arguelles is his body — loose, lean, athletic, with good projection; his new agents took him underground for a few weeks to get him back into playing shape, and the results definitely have impressed. If he were an American high school or junior college player, he’d be a solid first-rounder with a chance to be a top-10 guy and probably would be a $4 million bonus baby. As a free agent, he should easily double that.
Passan lists the Yankees, A’s, Mariners, and Rays as the primary suitors for Arguelles. If the Yankees can’t sign Chapman, for whatever reason, Arguelles sounds like a great fallback plan (some may even argue that he’s a better investment). Then again, while this may sound greedy, the Yankees have enough money to sign both players, right?