Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena make up the biggest names of the Cuban players. Since Puig’s signing, there have been several Cuban players to receive large contracts from MLB teams and soon, there could be another.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Dodgers are interested in a 21-year-old starting pitcher from the country:
Cuban right-handed pitching prospect Yoan Lopez has been cleared by the United States government, and he is expected to sign with a Major League team before the start of Spring Training, according to industry an source.
The D-backs, Dodgers, Padres and Yankees are among the teams to express strong interest in the 21-year-old starter, although other clubs could be in the mix now that the pitcher can officially sign a contract.
Lopez would be the first pitcher of significance that the Dodgers sign from Cuba. The right-hander has been clocked at 100 MPH and has four other pitches he uses. In his last season before defecting, Lopez had a 3.12 ERA in 49 innings in the Serie Nacional, the top league in Cuba. Because of his age and lack of seasons in the national league, Lopez would be subject to the international signing guidelines. This means that teams will not just be able to bid on his services, but be subject to the allotted money for signing young, international talent.
With the way the Dodgers have been spending internationally recently, it’s very likely that they will make a hard bid for the young pitcher’s services.
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