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Red Sox to sign ‘Theriot with better hands’ for $8 million?

While the baseball world awaits word on elite Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman’s next move, another prominent player who defected from the island last year has apparently signed.

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports that 19-year-old shortstop Jose Iglesias has agreed to an $8 million deal with the Red Sox and “official word is expected later this month.” Here’s a scouting report on Iglesias from Kiley McDaniel of Baseball Prospectus:

Drawing attention for his flashy glovework at shortstop, with one scout grading his fielding as an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. His arm is enough to stick at shortstop, but his range is somewhat limited by his fringe-average speed. Iglesias makes the most of his ability, with instincts that enhance his tools and excellent makeup. He bats from the right side and while his overall offensive package leaves a bit to be desired, most scouts agree Iglesias will hit enough to allow him to profile as a big league regular.

He has decent pop in his 5-10 frame, at a maxed-out 180 lbs., though he can get pull-happy at times. An international scouting director called Iglesias’ total package, “Ryan Theriot with better hands.” Iglesias is a defensive-oriented overachiever and executives say he would be more of a 2nd-3rd rounder if eligible for the recent draft.

“Ryan Theriot with better hands” and “a second or third rounder” is hardly what you’d expect to hear about a teenager who reportedly just signed for $8 million, and for a similarly low-upside comparison John Manuel of Baseball America quotes a scout calling him an “Orlando Cabrera clone.”