The Cardinals announced tonight that they have signed Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia to a minor league deal with a $2.5 million signing bonus. Garcia, who turns 24 next week, will also get an invitation to Major League camp to work with the big league staff. He will join the team in camp immediately and will be assigned the #75.
In the 2015-16 season, Garcia played for his hometown Tigres de Ciego de Avila in Cuba’s National Series and hit .315/.395/.517 with 14 home runs while inning MVP honors and leading his team to the championship. He briefly played for the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, but from what I can tell went 0-for-7 over 4 games. He also has some international experience, including hitting three home runs as well as a walk off winner in the bronze medal game of the 2015 Pan Am Games.
The general opinion seems to be that there is still work to be done for Garcia before he’s ready to see the Major Leagues. But signing him and bringing him to big league camp indicates how highly the organization thinks of him.
He is a toolsy player who brings speed and a good throwing arm to the outfield which has him considered capable of playing all three outfield positions. Before that MVP winning season for Ciego de Avila, Garcia was considered the #20 Cuban prospect by Baseball America.
Garcia does not count as an international signing because he was granted free agency by Major League Baseball last September, given his age and his experience.
His older brother, Adonis Garcia, currently plays for the Atlanta Braves.