Baseball sources confirmed that the Rangers are close to signing Cuban defector Leonys Martin, a center fielder, to a major-league contract. If signed, Martin would start his professional career in the minor leagues.
Martin, 23, is a left-handed hitter who is known for his defense and speed. He defected last year at the FISU World University Championships in Taiwan. He hit .326 with 10 homers in Cuba's top league last year and had a .492 on-base percentage in 2008-2009 over 90 games.
-- Jeff Wilson