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Oakland Athletics sign OF Dairon Blanco

The Oakland A’s announced the signing of Cuban free agent outfield Dairon Blanco.

Dairon Blanco / Courtesy Oakland Athletics
Dairon Blanco / Courtesy Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics announced on Monday that they signed Cuban free agent outfielder Dairon Blanco. Blanco is a veteran of the Cuban Serie Nacional. In four seasons in the Cuban professional league, he hit .310/.375/.416 in 201 games.

The right-handed hitting and throwing outfielder will turn 25 in January. Blanco last played professionally during the 2015-2016 season, when he hit .296/.352/.427 with 29 stolen bases in 33 chances in 85 games played. The speedster left Cuba in 2016 and began showcases for MLB teams that November. He was clocked at 6.25 for the 60-yard dash in a showcase in San Diego last November.

The A’s have been scouting Blanco over the past 14 months in the Dominican Republic, and Blanco recently spent time at the A’s Dominican complex during the organization’s Dominican fall Instructional League, according to A’s Assistant General Manager Dan Feinstein.

“We’re very excited to add Dairon to our system,” Feinstein said via email. “He has a track record of success in the Cuba, and possesses tools that are hard to come by.  He’s very athletic, and a true 80 runner with the ability to play all three outfield spots. Profiles as leadoff hitter who will occasionally put one in the seats. Dairon’s had quite a layoff, so we’ll take our time getting him re-acclimated to a baseball environment in the DR, and hopefully we’ll see him in Arizona sometime this spring.”

Here’s video of Blanco taken last November from FanGraphs:

And here are highlights of Blanco playing in Cuba:

 

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Jorge morales

    December 19, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Wow, got to love this under the radar signing…he should be a fast track candidate given his age and position that’s not log jammed with Talent. The A’s always talk about getting athletic OF and this addresses that. Can you imagine if both he and Mateo pan out. Both are 80 grade runners, we would lead league in steal. With last year’s signing of Lazarito and drafting Beck #1 the A’s are def trying to become more athletic in the OF and a future of Lazarito, Blanco, Piscotty. Will be interesting to see where he lands in top 30. My guess if he 80 runner and hit .300+ I’ll say at least 50overall maybe 55. At 50 though he’d make top 16 right ahead of Laureano whom if regraded may also be a 50 if not a 55 after second half surge

  2. Matthew Hirsch

    December 19, 2017 at 9:59 am

    If he was available in late 2016, why exactly hadn’t he played competitive ball this year? Was he injured?

    • Melissa Lockard

      December 19, 2017 at 10:59 am

      He wasn’t injured, but didn’t find a match on a contract. There are some questions on how the bat will translate in the US. The A’s think that with his plate discipline and plus speed, there is something there to mine.

  3. Matthew Hirsch

    December 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks Melissa. A lack of plate discipline stalled the career of Oakland’s last speedster, Billy Burns. Here’s hoping Blanco fares better.

  4. Pingback: A's Sign Cuban Outfielder Dairon Blanco - MLB Trade Rumors

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