The Chicago White Sox have signed Cuban outfielder Oscar Colás, one of the top available international free agents in this year’s class. The club announced the signing on Tuesday, and the Associated Press reports that Colás’ signing bonus is $2.7 million.
Once dubbed the “Cuban Ohtani” for his two-way ability. Colás, 23, is exclusively an outfielder now, and he hit .269/.319/.481 in part-time duty with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan from 2017-19. MLB.com’s free scouting report says Colás can “play all three outfield positions and projects to hit in the middle of the order.” He bats and throws left-handed.
As for Colás’ two-way potential, it appears he’s going to focus on his skills at the plate and in the outfield moving forward. Via the AP, White Sox executive Marco Paddy said:
“He wants to be a position player and he feels that he’s got a better chance to be successful as a position player, and we feel like his development as a pitcher would take much longer than a position player.
“So, for that kind of player with that type of power, that type of ability on the field, obviously we’re looking for a guy that has the opportunity to get to the major leagues a lot quicker.”
Given his age and success in Japan, Colás figures to have a quick path to the majors. The Sox are presently in need of help at the corner outfield spots, and the hope is that Colás will be able to provide that help sooner rather than later.
No doubt helping Colás make the difficult transition to the U.S. major leagues is a White Sox roster that already includes Cuban players like José Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Yoán Moncada, and Luis Robert.