Padres News: Padres Interested in Cuban SS Alfredo Rodriguez

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The San Diego Padres are currently looking for a shortstop and perhaps the newest sensation out of Cuba will be their man. The team has been linked to Troy Tulowitzki, Javier Baez and Elvis Andrus. The Padres need for shortstop is evident, and Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that Alfredo Rodriguez might be an option for the team.

Rodriguez is a 21-year old right-handed hitter who is described as a gold glove caliber defender with a suspect bat. Is that really what the Padres need? Perhaps in the long run, but Rodriguez is clearly not major league ready, in fact he might not even be ready for AAA pitching. He surely needs time to work on his craft.

The young Cuban had a hitting line of .265/.301/.284 in 304 at bats in the Serie Nacional. He stuck out only 38 times in those at bats, so it is not like he was absolutely horrible with the bat. Rodriguez walked only 11 times, so he is obviously a free swinger. That is most often the case when it comes to young Latino players.

Rodriguez won the rookie of the year award last season for the Cuban league and he was widely considered one of the countries best young players. Teams will have to use their international spending allocation to sign him. He reportedly should be able to sign with a Major League team as part of the coming summer’s July 2nd period. He will first have to establish residency in a third country.

After missing out on Yoan Moncada, do the Padres really want to pursue this young shortstop? It is hard to say, as mentioned before, he is not going to help the team immediately and A.J. Preller is surely looking for help in the near future. The Padres are going to kick the tires on this young player, but if the price tag gets too expensive, they are likely to look elsewhere.

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