Report: Sox trail two teams in pursuit of Cuban prospect originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Chaim Bloom and the Boston Red Sox reportedly are in the mix to sign a young talent from Cuba -- if Bloom's former employer doesn't land him first.
The Red Sox are one of eight teams that have evaluated 16-year-old Cuban outfield prospect Luis Pino, ESPN's Enrique Rojas reported Monday.
According to Rojas, however, the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are the current front-runners for Pino, while the Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs have all checked in on the young prospect.
Pino will be eligible to sign as an international free agent on Jan. 15 and likely will fetch a signing bonus of more than $1 million, per Rojas.
The United States' embargo on Cuba forces workers to establish residence in a third country before signing with an American company, so Pino recently moved to the Dominican Republic to become eligible to sign with a major league club.
At 6-foot, 180 pounds, Pino boasts "more power than some scouts expected" and projects as a center fielder or right fielder, per ESPN analyst Kyle McDaniel.
Here are some highlights from Pino's workout at a showcase last winter:
Bloom and his staff are tasked with rebuilding a barren Red Sox farm system, so their reported pursuit of Pino isn't a surprise. It sounds like they have plenty of competition, however.