It looks like the Reds are nearing another big signing in the international markets. Sources told me on June 15th that the Cincinnati Reds are nearing a deal with Cuban relief pitcher Raciel Iglesias on a deal that is estimated to be worth at least $15 million over five or six years. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.com confirmed my source today, as well.
Morosi also spoke with Cuban baseball expert Peter Bjarkman (Link #1 Link #2). Bjarkman has seen Iglesias pitch and thinks he could be in the Majors for the Reds after just one month or so in the minors. So, if the deal is finalized soon, he will pitch for Cincinnati this season.
Here is a scouting report from Ben Badler of Baseball America:
Major league scouts (and Baseball America) have been able to see Iglesias pitch in person outside of Cuba twice this year. At the World Baseball Classic in March, Iglesias pitched at 88-92 mph. When Cuba visited the U.S. in July for a five-game friendship series against the U.S. College national team, Iglesias looked more impressive, throwing 92-95 mph while varying the speed and shape of his sweepy 76-81 mph breaking ball to get swings and misses.
“I think he’s a guy that, as he gets bigger and stronger, could be in the mid-to-upper 90s,” said Team USA coach Jim Schlossnagle, who is also the coach at Texas Christian. “He’s lean, has a ridiculously loose arm and pounded the strike zone. I was glad they didn’t pitch him more. He was the guy where you’re like, ‘Let’s find a way to get a lead before they get to this guy.’”
Raciel Iglesias, a 24-year-old righty, has posted a 3.05 ERA over his last 82 and 1/3 innings with a 74-to-33 K/BB ratio in Cuba. Cincinnati could really use Iglesias’s help, as it was announced today that pitcher Sean Marshall will undergo shoulder surgery.