It had been talked about for weeks, and on Wednesday it finally came to fruition.
The Texas Rangers signed Cuban defector/toolsy center fielder Leonys Martin to a five-year, $15.5-million deal.
Martin, 23, has national team experience playing for Cuba but hasn't played organized baseball in a while. He'll start in Arizona in extended spring training before likely going to Frisco with the hopes of making an appearance in Arlington by late summer, perhaps.
Martin, according to all the scouting reports, is basically a clone of current Rangers center fielder Julio Borbon. He's fast, he's an above average defender with a good arm, is a line drive hitter and can run the bases well.
Sounds like what we heard about Borbon when he was ascending through the system before being groomed to take over CF duties from Marlon Byrd/Josh Hamilton.
Playing just 46 games in 2009, Borbon showed all kinds of promise and looked to be the Rangers' leadoff man for the next 10 years when he drove in 20 runs, hit over .300 and stole 19 bags. But since then, his average has dipped and his great base stealing talents seem to have all but eroded away overnight. He got caught red-handed on Wednesday night in the Rangers' win over Seattle.
Yet, Borbon tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that he's not nervous about the Rangers paying such big money for a guy that has never played in the major leagues, and happens to play the same position Borbon does.
"Competition is the name of the game," Borbon said. "Every day you have to prove yourself and show you belong. There's no extra pressure. You have to keep going out and playing the same way. I have been competitive ever since I was a kid, and I'm not changing my mentality now."