Several weeks ago Cuban centerfielder Leon'ys Martin was declared a free agent by Major League baseball. Martin just 22 is considered an elite prospect that has good on base skills with great speed. Scouts speculate that he should begin his professional career at the high A level, but would rise fast.
At this point there hasn't been much news on the Martin front except that the Rangers were nearing an agreement that was for more than the $12 million that the Red Sox offered. However, if was then reported by Peter Gammons that the Red Sox hadn't offered a deal over $2 million. At this point there hasn't been any more information on the subject.
I am writing all of this because I would love to see the Royals make a run at Martin. According to some the Royals barely missed out on Jose Iglesias when the Red Sox came in with an $8 million deal at the last minute and as we all know the Royals outbid all of baseball for the services of Noel Arguelles who made his professional debut for Wilmington tonight by going 4 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks, and 1 K.
Speaking of Arguelles it seems the Royals assigned Julio Cesar Pimentel to Wilmington in an attempt to help ease Arguelles into the American culture and give him a friend that he could relate to. Wait.. what level did scouts believe Martin should start at? High A.
By signing Martin the Royals could pair up the Cubans in their development by having them both spend the summer in Wilmington and perhaps Springdale should they warrant a promotion. By having a partner and friend their ease into American culture would be hypothetically be easier to bare. Also, by assigning Martin to Wilmington the club would have the high profile hitting prospect that at this point it lacks.
Quite frankly glancing at Wilmington lineup leaves much to be desired at this point. The Royals have Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson, and Derrick Robinson in the upper levels of the system but none of these guys are elite prospects. They also have Brett Eibner in low A, but many suspect him to move to a corner and he profiles as a middle of the order guy anyway. The organization is currently lacking an elite leadoff type prospect that could set the table for the boppers in the middle. By acquiring Martin the Royals would have that guy.
The Royals have money to spend. When you consider payroll is about $35 million lower than where it was last year then the Royals should have about $35 million more to toy with on the amatuer market.
Every team's fans probably want to believe that they are a great fit for any given prospect, and it probably isn't fair to be so greedy when the Royals already have the best farm system in the history of the game. But Dayton Moore has already commented that he wants middle of the order talent to be at every level of the system. If the Royals added Martin centerfield could be marked off the checklist for the time being.