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10 International Free Agents Who Could Reappear In MLB Soon

 Conor Liguori  |    Mar 24th, 2024 8:47pm EDT

Jean Segura of the Miami Marlins catches the ball for an out against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eighth inning at loanDepot park on July 31, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

These 10 internationally-born players are free agents and still need to find a new home for the 2024 professional baseball calendar.

10. Jean Segura, SS, Dominican Republic – At this point of spring training, it’s surprising that the veteran infielder has yet to agree to a contract in Major League Baseball, minor league baseball, or another league outside of the United States.

Segura played 85 games for the Miami Marlins in 2023, hitting .219 with just three home runs and 21 RBI. His career OPS+ is 97, indicating Segura has been three percent worse than the average MLB hitter.

One potential landing spot for Segura is the New York Yankees. Venezuelan infielder Oswald Peraza is shut down from baseball activities for six to eight weeks, and Segura could replace him on the New York bench.

Johnny Cueto of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at loanDepot park on September 15, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

9. Johnny Cueto, RHP, Dominican Republic – Cueto has used his funky windup to retire MLB hitters since 2008, but teams may want to avoid taking a risk on the 38-year-old.

Cueto went 1-4 with a 6.02 ERA in 13 games in 2023 for the Miami Marlins and was a 2015 World Series champion with the Kansas City Royals.

It’s plausible that Cueto will hang up his spikes if he cannot find a team to sign him to an MLB contract. Still, if he wants to keep pitching, he can also take his talents to Nippon Professional Baseball or Liga Mexicana de Beisbol.

8. Edwin Rios, 3B, 1B, Puerto Rico – Rios signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs on Feb. 17, 2023, but he played 42 of his 60 games with Triple-A Iowa.

The 29-year-old hit .263 with six home runs with Triple-A Iowa and .071 with a .450 OPS and 16 strikeouts in 34 plate appearances with Chicago.

Unless Rios can start making regular contact, a minor league deal may be the only contract MLB organizations are interested in offering him. He may also garner interest from NPB and/or KBO teams.

7. Raimel Tapia, OF, Dominican Republic – Tapia played for the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Tampa Bay Rays in 2023.

Organizations see him as a short-term option who can fill in at all three outfield positions. In 2023, Tapia hit .271 with just one home run and a .710 OPS but provided some speed, stealing eight bases in nine attempts.

The Oakland Athletics could take a flier on a player like Tapia, who would have much to prove on a team with a minuscule chance of being ultra-competitive.

6. Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Dominican Republic – Garcia is not the most well-known name on this list, but the lefty has been a steady relief pitcher in his six-year MLB career.

He signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates in December 2022 but missed the 2023 season due to a nerve issue in his bicep. Garcia appeared in 58 games for San Francisco in 2022 and recorded one save with 56 strikeouts in 65 innings.

Garcia may only receive a one-year deal or take his game to the CPBL or KBO, where he will likely be a starting pitcher and earn a multi-year contract.

Eduardo Escobar of the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

5. Eduardo Escobar, 3B, Venezuela – The Toronto Blue Jays granted Escobar his release on Friday, manager John Schneider told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

The veteran infielder played 99 games with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels in 2023 but hit just six home runs with a .613 OPS. In 2019, Escobar hit a career-high 35 home runs with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Escobar, 35, needs to be more consistent at the plate and be a strong defender, making it hard to pinpoint which team could use his services.

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Elvis Andrus of the Chicago White Sox is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring during the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres at Guaranteed Rate Field on October 01, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. The Padres defeated the White Sox 2-1. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

4. Elvis Andrus, SS, Venezuela – Andrus, 35, was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday after failing to make the Opening Day roster.

The 15-year MLB veteran hit .251 with six home runs and 41 RBI in 2023 for the Chicago White Sox and was a primary piece of the Texas Rangers squads that went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.

Perhaps Andrus returns to the Rangers on a minor league contract to finish his career, or another team expected to finish at the bottom of the 2024 MLB standings will give him a chance with their big league club.

Sandy Leon of the Texas Rangers bats against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field on June 4, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

3. Sandy Leon, C, Venezuela – Leon, 35, was released by the Kansas City Royals at his request on Sunday.

Despite a career .208/.276/.311 slash line, Leon has proven to be one of the more well-respected backup catchers in MLB since his rookie season in 2012. His offense may be poor, but his glove receives a lot of attention, rightfully so.

The Milwaukee Brewers would have been a good option for Leon, but they signed Gary Sanchez to back up William Contreras. In all likelihood, Leon will seek another minor league contract with more playing time in sight.

Julio Teheran of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 31, 2023 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

2. Julio Teheran, RHP, Colombia – On Saturday, Teheran opted out of his minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles after he was told he would not make the Opening Day roster.

The 33-year-old returned to MLB with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2023 after not appearing in a game since 2021 with the Detroit Tigers. He went 3-5 in 14 games and posted a 4.40 ERA in 71.2 innings.

Teheran may have to settle for another minor-league contract and hope his performance warrants a promotion to MLB. One potential suitor for Teheran is the St. Louis Cardinals, who will start the season with Sonny Gray on the injured list.

1. Donovan Solano, INF, Colombia – Solano has been a serviceable utility infielder for the Cincinnati Reds and the Minnesota Twins for the last two years and will likely sign a one-year deal with an MLB team.

The 36-year-old hit .282 with five home runs and 38 RBI in 134 games in 2023 for the Twins and posted a career-high .828 OPS in the COVID-19 pandemic season for the San Francisco Giants.

One potential suitor for Solano is the Minnesota Twins. The infielder has previous experience in the clubhouse and could prove valuable as a bench player.