Outfielder Dariel Alvarez, who defected from Cuba last summer, took his physical today in Baltimore after agreeing to terms with the Orioles last week.
The Orioles haven’t announced Alvarez’s signing, but he told MLB.com that he would receive an $800,000 bonus.
The Orioles signed another Cuban outfielder, Henry Urrutia, for $778,500 after he finally arrived in the U.S. in late February. Urrutia agreed to terms in July 2012, but was detained in Haiti while waiting for his work visa.
Alvarez, a right-handed hitter, defected last summer and played professionally in Mexico. He was declared a free agent in January.
In 2012, Alvarez played for La Liga Invernal Veracruzana and batted .354/.371/.521 with two home runs in 152 at-bats.
No word yet on where the Orioles will assign him.
Since Alvarez is over 23 and played professionally in Cuba for three years, he doesn’t count against the Orioles’ international bonus pool figures.
Also, the Orioles scouted Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in Mexico. Calvin Maduro, a former pitcher who now serves as an international scout, watched Gonzalez throw.
Gonzalez, 26, is eligible to sign with the highest bidder without any international signing pool restrictions. He was declared a free agent last month.
The Orioles clocked Gonzalez’s fastball at 92-96 mph. They believe that he needs to accumulate some minor league innings before being ready for the majors. Most scouts seem to think that he will move quickly.
The Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers and Red Sox are rumored to have the most interest in Gonzalez, though other teams have been linked to him. It’s unlikely that the Orioles will outbid the field for Gonzalez, who could command a deal similar to the $42 million that the Dodgers gave outfielder Yasiel Puig.