Lazaro Armenteros: Will Mets Continue To Ignore Premium International Free Agents


Latest Cuban Phenom Lazaro Armenteros Declared A Free Agent

Last week the question was posed here on MMO as to whether or not the Mets should trade LHP Steven Matz and another player to the Red Sox for shortstop prospect Yoan Moncada. The trade was proposed by Baseball America and I have a huge problem with this, let me tell you why.

Since 2010, the Mets ownership and front office have been negligent and unresponsive among other things, when it comes to taking advantage of international free agency.

Of course after the wonderful Kaz Matsui experience I can almost understand why they always seem to show absolutely no interest in the best international free agents every year. But smart teams utilize it as a means to infuse blue chip talent into their farm systems, just ask the Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers.

Over a year ago during the 2014 Winter Meetings, Sandy Alderson acknowledged that the Mets haven’t engaged in premium international players during his tenure, but vowed that would soon be a thing of the past.

“We haven’t been in that category, but I expect we will be in that category, soon. We don’t know when “soon” is, but there are encouraging signs that “soon” might be as close as the next few weeks.”

The next few weeks? Needless to say, Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, Japanese shortstop Takashi Toritani, and Cuban second baseman Yoan Moncada ended up on the Mets. Promises, promises.

Now I wonder will Sandy sit on his hands and do nothing again while more newly minted Cuban free agents are hitting the market?

And believe me, I am fully aware that it’s the Wilpons who may be holding Sandy back. But whatever the truth is, our team suffers because they are denied an opportunity to take advantage of this emerging pipeline of premium players.

There’s a Cuban outfielder who is a free agent right now by the name of Lazaro Armenteros, better known as “Lazarito” and recognized as one of the most intriguing and exciting Cuban prospects in international scouting circles.

Armenteros, who is only 16 years-old was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and is subject to the international signing guidelines because of his age and experience. He will be eligible to sign with a major league team starting February 10.

The Mets as we all know have a serious situation in center field and Lazarito is the real deal. Consider him this years’ Yoan Moncada. Lazarito hits and hits with power, he runs and is an excellent base-stealer and should have no trouble becoming a plus defender in center field.

Did I forget to mention his cannon for an arm? And at only 16 the sky is literally the limit with this kid. He is just what the Mets need, and don’t already have in their farm system.

Do you honestly think the Mets will be serious players for Lazarito? Guess again. They don’t have the stomach or the fortitude to sign this guy. I’m so sure of this that I’m willing to pledge:

“If the Mets sign Lazarito: I Petey Pete will sing the national anthem at Citi Field in the buff. That’s right, in the raw, buck naked, bare-assed, au naturel, unclad, without a stitch, sans leaf, in my birthday suit!” Now, how’s that for certainty?

Exactly a year ago this excerpt was part of a piece on Cuban free agents published on

“Moncada has yet to receive a formal offer, Sanchez writes, but he’s worked out privately for the Cubs, D-backs, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Brewers.”

Now correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t the Mets in need of a shortstop this time last year? Yet they are one of the only teams that didn’t even work him out. They were so busy conducting their biz that they couldn’t even be bothered to kick the tires on Moncada a year ago.

And now we should wonder if it’s a good idea to trade a talented and controllable left-handed pitcher like Matz for someone we could have simply signed a year ago and gave up nothing for except cash? Now you are beginning to see why this whole trade idea seems so ludicrous to me.

Despite the Mets current need for a lead-off hitter and a real center fielder, I think we can safely assume that the Mets owners and their lackeys are too busy focusing on looking good, saying the right things and putting spin on everything, than they are of making the team better.

If it costs any money they simply aren’t interested. That’s the one constant with the Wilpons, they’re unwilling to invest in the team even after a banner year and record revenue and profits. This is why I am certain I will not have to do any singing naked on national television, aren’t you relieved?

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About Pete Shapiro 64 Articles
A dedicated Mets fan since 1967, Petey is pained to see that the promise of an exciting new chapter in Metdom is contingent on the bunch of self-serving empty suits that comprise Mets managent. For the sake of the young fans who have been deprived of the magic that once made the Amazins a world championship team, Petey hopes this franchise will go the extra mile to make itself into a true winner.