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Yankees Free Agent Target: Yenier Bello

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The Yankees need to start tapping into the international market now that they have let Yoenis Cespedes, Jorge Soler, Yasiel Puig, Alexander Guerrero, and Jose Abreu go elsewhere without much of a look. They've signed a few young prospects here and there (Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos), but have yet to go after the big stars. Cuban catcher Yenier Bello could finally be their opportunity to take a step in the right direction.

From 2003-2011, Bello hit .276/.324/.458 with 82 home runs while throwing out 50% of potential base stealers. After trying to escape Cuba last year, he was suspended from playing for Cuba, but he's finally succeeded in defecting. He's established residency outside of Cuba and has been cleared by Major League Baseball to sign with a team. He will work out for MLB scouts on November 5 in Tijuana, Mexico, however, the Office of Foreign Assets Control has yet to "unblock" him in order to allow him to be employed by an American team.

Once he is cleared by the OFAC, teams won't have to deal with international spending limits because of a special rule for Cuban defectors over the age of 22. Plenty of organizations will be interested, but Rangers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies are all thought to be interested. At 28 years old, Bello could potentially plug into a major league roster right away.

If the Yankees sign him, they can plug him into Triple-A for a month to warm him up and then bring him up to play full-time. This way he doesn't get in the way of any prospects and he has time to acclimate to the heightened level of competition. Now is the time for the Yankees to make a move.

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