Cuban defector could be gamechanger for MLB title chase
There are a lot of ways to improve your team at the trade deadline. The most talked about in the media is a trade. Another is to get a key player back from injury. Or if those two approach don’t work, throw money at a free agent. Usually you’re talking released retreads. Except in the rare case of Cuba. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez could sign within a week, and after a couple of minor league starts, could be up in the majors around August 1. According to Sanchez:
Scouts believe Gonzalez needs only a few Minor League starts before he pitches in the big leagues and his addition would be similar to acquiring a top pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Gonzalez was declared a free agent by MLB a few weeks ago as Cuban players who are at least 23 years old and have played at least 3-seasons professionally are not subject to MLB’s new international signing guidelines in the new CBA. He could command as much as $60MM over 5 years according to Danny Knobler of CBS.com.
Gonzalez has been out of International competition for a couple of years for fear of defection. Sanchez reports that Gonzalez’s fastball hits the mid-90s consistently, with a change, fork, and curve.
Smart money would look for teams desperately in need of an arm, like the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, or Los Angeles Dodgers. Although a team like the Chicago Cubs, with salary to burn, might enter the mix. Or at least drive up the price.
– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)
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