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White Sox officially sign Cuban outfield prospect Oscar Colas

by Joe Binder

UPDATE (Tuesday, Jan. 25): Oscar Colas has officially signed his contract with the White Sox for $2.7 million.

“We feel very good with what we were able to accomplish this year,” said Marco Paddy, White Sox special assistant to the general manager — international operations. “Having the ability to sign two high-level prospects with impact type tools like Colás and Hernández, I would categorize that as a solid year. Colás possesses an aggressive style of play that includes an impressive power bat and arm, as well as the ability to play above average defense at all three outfield positions.”

After what’s felt like years in the making, the White Sox have finally landed their significant international prospect.

Cuban outfielder Oscar Colas has agreed to a deal with the organization worth $2.7 million, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. He is expected to sign his contract and make it official during the week, according to multiple reports.

Colas, previously of Japan’s SoftBank Hawks, became an MLB free agent on December 23, 2020, and was connected to the White Sox long before then. However, the Cuban’s age and lack of professional experience only allowed for him to sign a minor league contract and then be subject to international bonus pools. This created a tricky situation for both the player and organizations like the White Sox, who had little left to spend after deals with outfielder Yoelki Cespedes, pitcher Norge Vera, and others during the previous signing period. By waiting until this January, both parties ensured that enough resources were available financially to strike a deal.

While he hasn’t played professionally in roughly two years now, Colas was regarded as the No. 5 international prospect available on the market according to MLB Pipeline. In 2019, the left-handed hitter slashed .300/.353/.511 with 12 home runs, 19 doubles, and 48 RBI in 295 plate appearances (73 games) for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan and their Nippon Professional Baseball club. He’s also been called the “Cuban Ohtani” by some after rumors that he was trying to become a two-way player, though he doesn’t have an extensive track record on the mound and will enter the organization strictly as an outfielder. Look for him to stick in a corner outfield spot moving forward.

The main question that now lingers is Cola’s arrival stateside. As James Fox of Future Sox pointed out, his current status in the Dominican Republic could complicate matters due to taxes. Since Colas could forfeit over $950,000 worth, it’s definitely a factor that could delay his Untied States’ arrival.

Despite these concerns, James Fegan of The Athletic recently reported, “the White Sox are aiming to get the 23-year-old playing stateside in 2022 as they work to make up for lost time.”

We will continue to monitor the news and provide additional updates as we can. To view a full list of international signings made by the White Sox, click here.

Featured Photo: MLB Pipeline/Twitter

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