Athletics acquire top Cuban prospect Lazaro Armenteros
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Athletics have landed another top Cuban prospect, agreeing to terms with versatile outfielder Lazaro Armenteros on Saturday.
He receives a $3 million signing bonus from Oakland, which originally signed Yoenis Cespedes before the 2012 season.
The A's also agreed to terms with Dominican players third baseman George Bell, shortstops Marcos Brito and Yerdel Vargas, and center fielder Kevin Richards. Each of the new acquisitions will report to the club's Dominican training facility and later to Arizona for instructional league this fall.
A's assistant general manager and scouting chief Dan Feinstein took the lead on acquiring Armenteros, nicknamed Lazarito. The A's have been watching him seriously for two years.
''It's exciting. The scouts and Dan really did a great job with this,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ''Quite the find getting Lazarito. ... I did see a picture where he looks pretty cut up physically.''
The 17-year-old Armenteros, a right-handed hitter with speed and a body Feinstein likened to that of ''a young Frank Thomas,'' batted .462 for Cuba in the 15-and-under World Cup in Mexico two years ago. He hit .416 with a league-leading six home runs in Cuba's 15-and-under league.
''To say we are excited to add this level of talent to our minor league system would be an understatement,'' Feinstein said. ''Our International scouts work tirelessly throughout the year, and it's great to see those efforts rewarded.''