Why are the Mets ignoring Cuban prospects? They showed no interest in Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes or Yasiel Puig. They also passed on Jose Fernandez who was selected immediately after the Mets drafted Brandon Nimmo, and made no attempt to sign Aroldis Chapman. Who is in charge of Latin America scouting for the Mets and why are they ignoring one of the hottest international markets in baseball?
First of all, that is an age – old question. The Mets haven’t really invested in any Cuban player since Omar with Alay Soler, El Duque, and Livan Hernandez, and those were just very minor signings. They have historically shied away from big-ticket Cuban players, and have been unwilling to spend for Chapman, Ramirez, Puig, Cespedes, and Abreu.
The main word to describe any of these cases has always been “spending.” Many of these players come from leagues with drastic areas of skill, some of whom are in the AA range and others in the MLB range. And even though they are the elite, they are still unproven. It’s a big risk to throw millions of dollars into that unknown void (Then again “spending” hasn’t really applied lately anywhere for the Mets).
The Jose Fernandez failure was a domestic scouting blunder under draft director Tommy Tanous. But the most important question was about the Latin American Scouting Director, who had changed from the great Ismael Cruz (who was there for Chapman only) to unknown scout Chris Becerra. He didn’t seem to have any scouting experience in Latin America which makes him puzzling.
However, I doubt he would harness enough power to convince the ownership to spend tens of millions of dollars, especially on the advice of an unproven Latin American Scouting Director. That responsibility falls on the General Manager who has the ultimate decision, and so does the fault if these players excel.