Blue Jays agree to terms with Cuban right-hander Yariel Rodriguez

TORONTO – The Blue Jays agreed to a multi-year deal with Cuban pitcher Yariel Rodriguez on Wednesday, according to a report from MLB Network correspondent John Paul Morosi.

The right-hander will be one of the biggest questions on the market, coming in with plenty of potential after his time in Cuba and Japan, but hasn’t seen competitive action since the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March.

Following this incident, Rodríguez did not rejoin his Japanese team, the Chunichi Dragons, and was later declared a free agent, which allows him to sign with any MLB team at the age of 27.

Rodríguez made two starts for the Cuban team in the World Classic, posting a 2.45 ERA with 10 strikeouts and six walks in 7.1 innings, and the latter appearance drew more attention to the right-hander.

His innate talent creates optimism, behind a fastball that stays above 96 mph and a great performance, but it remains to be seen what his role will be in the majors.

After emerging as a starter in Cuba with Camagüey, Las Tunas and Sancti Spíritus, Rodríguez eventually made the transition to the bullpen in Japan. As a full-time reliever in 2022, the right-hander had a 1.15 earned run average with 60 strikeouts in 54.2 innings.

In Toronto, he would fit in as a versatile wing, especially with the way the Canadian club’s roster is built.

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