The Giants love switch-hitters, and they added one that surprised some folks today. There were five teams rumored to be after 23-year-old center fielder Daniel Carbonell, but the Giants weren’t named in this report in May from MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez:
Carbonell, 23, is said to be weighing contract offers from five different teams with terms that vary in length from five to seven years. The outfielder is seeking a four-year deal, the source said. He is currently working out in Merida, Mexico.
On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the Yankees and Mariners are the finalists to sign the switch-hitting outfielder. However, Seattle and New York are not believed to be among the teams to make the player a formal offer.
The Braves, Red Sox, and White Sox were among the first teams to show interest in outfielder earlier in the year, but the teams are not among the favorites to sign him. The Dodgers are also not among the finalists.
Considered a five-tool player by some scouts, the 6-ft-3, 220-pound outfielder is known for his speed and power. He played four seasons for Camaguey in Cuba’s Serie Nacional before defecting from Cuba last winter, but will need to sign by July 2 or he will be subjected to the international signing guidelines established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Starting in July, Cuban players must be at least 23 years old and have played at least five seasons in a Cuban professional league to be exempt from the international signing guidelines.
It appears that Carbonell got the terms he was looking for from the Giants:
Source: Carbonell’s deal with Giant is four-year, $3.5M guaranteed deal with another estimated $3.5M available in performance bonuses
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) June 16, 2014
The Giants were so stealthy in making this move that they were the ones who “broke” the story. That’s rare these days.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Giants have signed Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell to a major league contract, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today.
The 23-year-old played for Camaguey in the Cuban Serie Nacional for four years, batting .287 (163-for-568) with 119 runs scored, 28 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 70 RBI in 190 games. The 6-foot-3, 196-pound outfielder hit .298 (59-for-198) with 40 runs scored, 13 doubles, five homers and 28 RBI in 62 games in his last season from 2012-2013. Carbonell has experience at all three outfield spots, playing center field primarily.
Carbonell is currently residing in Merida, Mexico and will report to Arizona once he has a work visa.
The Giants now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.
The Giants seem to think they’re getting a slimmer outfielder than what was originally reported by Sanchez. The highlight video below says he’s 215 lbs. If Yoenis Cespedes is built like a running back, and Yasiel Puig like a linebacker, Carbonell looks like he could move the chains pretty well at wide receiver.
The power hasn’t shown up in the numbers, and .287 in Cuban Serie Nacional isn’t going to wow many people, but beyond the five-tools celing it appears that plate discipline might be one of his greatest strengths. Carbonell walked 98 times in 190 games, which means either his eye is good for his age, pitchers don’t have the greatest command in that league, or both.
Besides Nate Schierholtz, the Giants haven’t had much (any) luck with outfielders coming up through their system. Carbonell isn’t a finished product like Cespedes or Jose Abreu (who I thought the Giants might go after this past offseason), but if their minor league instructors can refine Carbonell’s tools that relate to hitting, he could end up in the majors relative soon.
Based on this video …
… he has a bit of a hitch/hesitation in his swing after moving his front foot forward. He also seems to end up a little off-balance at the end of some of his swings in both of these videos, although that could be because he’s trying for long home runs. The Giants might make an adjustment in Carbonell’s hand placement as well, but in terms of explosive power, the Giants have to be happy with the player they’ll get in Arizona once he gets his visa.
Thankfully, he won’t look like Dani Carbonell, the first guy with that name who showed up in my Google Image Search for “Daniel Carbonell” (Dani is a member of some band named Macaco, and looks like someone who’d probably list Bronson Arroyo as his favorite ballplayer).