Despite a glut of talented outfielders on both the Major and Minor League levels, the Yankees are interested in signing Cuban CF prospect Julio Pablo Martinez, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
Martinez, 21, is considered to have the talent level of a first-round draft pick if he were in the draft and not the international pool. Baseball America assumes that Martinez has the talent level to head to high Class-A or Double-A.
In Cuba last season, Martinez hit .333/.469/.498 with six home runs in 264 plate appearances. He also had 52 walks, 30 strikeouts stole 24 bases in 29 tries.
The player is still waiting for the MLB to declare him a free agent. The report says the Yankees, Rangers and Marlins are the favorites to win his signature.
With the Yankees having limited bonus pool space for the 2017/18 international signing period, which ends on June 15, Martinez may have to wait until July 2 to sign should he opt for the Bronx.
Last month, the Yankees signed OF Raimfer Salinas and C Antonio Cabello, the 10th and 15th rated international prospects for 2017, respectively.
The Yankees are well stocked with outfielders. With Aaron Judge, entering his age-26 season, and Giancarlo Stanton, 28, the Yankees have two outfield spots nailed down for the immediate and distant future. Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner will hold down everyday roles in the outfield as well, with one of Judge and Stanton likely rotating between RF and DH. Jacoby Ellsbury is still on the books, too, with Clint Frazier and the team's no. 3 overall prospect Estevan Florial waiting in the wings.
Having too much talent is never a problem, as even if Martinez never breaks through to the majors with the Yankees, he'll be a palatable trade piece.