Reports indicate Cuban first-base prospect Jose Julio Ruiz is close to signing with a major league club. Saturday's edition of El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-based newspaper affiliated with the Miami Herald reported on Saturday that negotiations have "intensified."
"By next week, he should be signed already," one of Ruiz's agents, Jorge Luis Toca told El Nuevo Herald. "Perhaps Wednesday we'll announce something."
Ruiz, who defected last season, has been working out at the Yankees' complex in the Dominican Republic.
The slugger, who turns 26 on March 24, was batting .305 with a .408 on-base percentage and a .467 slugging percentage through 52 games for his National Series team before defecting. He sports a .330 career batting average.