In April, two days before President Donald Trump’s administration dissolved the working agreement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation, which allowed Cuban players to sign as a free agents with teams without having to defect to the United States, Victor Labrada left his home and relocated to the Dominican Republic to take advantage of the new opportunity.
After working out for the past year and gaining eligibility, MLB sources confirmed a report from Francys Romero of MLB.com that Labrada has signed with the Mariners as an international free agent with a $350,000 signing bonus.
Per sources, Labrada, 19, is a smallish left-handed hitting outfielder with elite speed and an outstanding baserunner. As a center fielder, he has plus defensive skills in center field with a strong arm. He drew some comparisons to former Mariners outfielder Guillermo Heredia in terms of defensive instincts. At the plate, he’s an aggressive hitter, who likes to swing often. He played for Industriales in the Cuban Federation in 2018. He was also the captain and leadoff hitter of Cuba’s 18-Under Pan-American team in 2018 that played in Panama.
Labrada is currently working out at the Mariners’ academy in the Dominican Republic.