KC Royals Linked to Top International Free Agent Eddy Martinez

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When it comes to finding prospects from Latin America, the KC Royals have had an excellent track record of success. Players like Salvador Perez, Yordano Ventura and Cheslor Cuthbert were all international free agents that the Royals have hit upon. Yes, there have been misses, most notably Noel Arguelles, but the Royals have generally had success in bringing in these players.

According to Jon Heyman, it appears as though the Royals have their eyes on another international free agent that they hope can follow that same path. The Royals worked out Cuban outfielder Eddy Martinez, a 20 year old who has already spent two seasons in the Cuban National Series. Even though his statistics for the 2013 season, the only ones currently available, were not overly impressive with Martinez producing a .229/.333/.324 batting line, he was said to dazzle in his showcase for the Royals.

This impressive performance went beyond the workout. Martinez hit two home runs, a double and a single in the game where Royals scouts were in attendance, further cementing his place as an intriguing prospect. However, interest in Martinez is not just from the Royals, as Heyman listed the Giants and the Dodgers as teams also interested in the outfielder.

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The fact that the KC Royals are in on Eddy Martinez is another signal that the old days, where the team did not spend on such players, are gone. Yes, Perez and Ventura have the potential to be true cornerstones, but the Royals did not exactly break the bank for either player. While there have been the occasional larger signings, such as Arguelles, the Royals had traditionally shied away from such expenditures.

That changed this year. The Royals are already over their spending cap, as they signed prized prospects Seuly Matias and Jeison Guzman earlier this year, and will be limited to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus for the next two years. If ever there was a time for the Royals to go large in the international free agent pool, it would be now, especially since the damage is already done.

Martinez, should he be signed by the Royals, will not have the same immediate impact that fellow countrymen Yaisel Puig or Jose Abreu had at the major league level. At 20 years old, and with his limited experience, Martinez will likely need a bit of time in the minors before joining the Royals. However, Martinez has the potential to be an elite player as well, having been compared to Andruw Jones in his heyday. If Martinez can develop into that type of player, he would more than justify the cost of bringing him into the Royals system.

Considered to be the fourth best international free agent heading into this year, Eddy Martinez would certainly be an interesting signing for the KC Royals, as he could well develop into the type of player that they could build around for years to come.

Next: Projecting the Royals Playoff Roster

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