Cards ink Cuban outfielder to Minors deal

Jose Adolis Garcia was MVP of Cuba's Serie Nacional

Cards ink Cuban outfielder to Minors deal

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals, who hoped to enhance their outfield depth before the start of the season, have found another candidate to compete for a job as one of the team's backup outfielders.

Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia, the younger brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, agreed to a Minor League contract with the team on Friday. The deal includes an invite to Major League camp, and it will pay Garcia a $2.5 million bonus, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

Garcia, who will be 24 next week, has been a free agent since December. He is a right-handed hitter capable of playing all three outfield positions.

Garcia slashed .315/.395/.517 while playing for the Tigres de Ciego de Avila in Cuba in 2016. He was named the MVP of the Cuban National Series, which features 16 teams and a 90-game schedule. Garcia has also represented Cuba in international competition, including appearances in the Pan Am Games (2015) and Friendship Series (2015).

With Garcia in camp, the Cardinals have reset their outfield competition. The club has three starters -- Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler and Randal Grichuk -- already determined, but at least one bench spot remains up for grabs for another outfielder. Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez, Todd Cunningham and Chad Huffman are among those in camp already considered candidates for that role.

Garcia was at the team's complex in Jupiter on Friday to sign his contract, which suggests that he'll join the team right away. General manager John Mozeliak will address the signing in more detail before the team's Grapefruit League opener on Saturday.

Garcia has been assigned uniform no. 75.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.