The Nevada Speeders have signed a 3-year deal with international free agent Raul Abarca, a 29-year-old from Cuba.
Though naturally a right fielder with a cannon for an arm, pundits expect the team may transition him to first base, where 2011 first-round draft pick Glen Bedard played in 2017, or possibly to the designated-hitter role.
Bedard has struggled since breaking into the top level, batting .155 in his debut year, 2015, over 24 starts, then dropping to a dismal .097 in 2016. He managed to bring his average up to .247 after playing out 83 games this year, including a half-dozen homers and ten steals. Defensively, Bedard plays first base well, but could switch to an outfield spot from a backup role easily.
Abarca, who had played only in Cuba until now, is considered an above-average offensive player, with slightly plus side power and a good eye for pitches. He signed to the Speeders for $3.6 million per year.