A couple of weeks ago, Jason wrote about the Yankees having expressed interest in Cuban free agent Daniel Carbonell. Now it appears that they are amongst the finalists in talks with the outfielder.
Told #Yankees, #Mariners are two of five finalists for Cuban free-agent OF Daniel Carbonell. Neither team has confirmed.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 17, 2014
Prior to defecting from Cuba back in October, Carbonell played for Camaguey in the Cuban National Series from 2009-2013. The 23-year-old's career numbers during that time are .287/.359/.398 with an OPS+ of 94. It should be noted that in 2012, Cuba raised pitcher's mounds and switched to a "less lively" baseball in an effort to lower offensive production, which may have had an impact on his stats. In comparisons between Carbonell and fellow Cuban, Yasiel Puig, Carbonell is considered to be the faster of the two.
It doesn't seem like there would be much to lose if the Yankees do sign Carbonell. There may not be that much hype surrounding him, but Puig and another recent Cuban defector, Jose Abreu, have found success in the majors so far. Abreu is currently batting .265/.317/.606 and leads all of MLB in terms of the most home runs hit, 15. Puig is off to a good start as well, hitting .333/.422/.590. Carbonell isn't expected to perform like those two, but what would be the harm in signing a speedy outfielder who can hit for average?