Lazarito Armenteros is a 16 year old Cuban prospect which has captured the imaginations of a lot of fans and organizations alike. Scheduled to be a free agent starting on February 10th, he has crazy raw tools including speed and power and while his recent workout wasn't a slam dunk like many teams hoped, he is still expected to sign a deal with a bonus in the $15-20 million range which is far from shabby and could very well go higher if there are multiple interested and motivated buyers.
While the Braves were present for that workout, they weren't expected to be major players for his services given that they are expected to make a big wave during the NEXT international signing period (including being the favorites for Kevin Maitan and other top IFAs). The Braves have already spent their pool allotment for this signing period, so if they go over by signing anyone now they would not be able to do so during the next signing period.
That is what makes this news all the more strange
Sources: Braves express strong interest in Cuban teen Lazarito Armenteros. Private workout scheduled for Sat in DR https://t.co/9psWWpuktA— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 2, 2016
There are a lot of things that could be in play here. First, the Braves could be under the impression that Lazarito is willing to wait until July 2 to sign a deal, which would put the Braves very much in play for signing him as well as Kevin Maitan and others. This is the best case scenario for Braves fans and could very well be true. Second, the Braves could feel like the some of their high level signees have slipped away for one reason or another and see Lazarito as the best option available and will go ahead and go over their allotment now. This is highly unlikely and is not good news. Finally, the Braves could just be doing their due diligence on a very talented player which is certainly possible, although it makes one wonder why they would schedule a private workout if they have little or no interest in signing him if he doesn't want to wait.
Its also possible that the Braves are simply trying to drive up the bidding for other teams and possibly get more teams out of the pool of teams for the next signing period by having him have a "great workout", but thats next level conspiracy stuff. We will keep you posted, but it appears that Coppy, Hart, and co. are continuing to be relentless this offseason in trying to improve the club in any way possible.