The first big story of the Winter Meetings happened before the meetings actually began. MLB.com is reporting the Royals have signed Cuban free-agent lefthander Noel Arguelles, reportedly for a major league contract worth $7 million. We’ll have more on the signing as we can touch base with sources here in Indianapolis.
Arguelles pitched for the Cuban junior national team (not the World Baseball Classic or Olympic bunch, but the top group of 18-and-under players) and defected while at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada, in July 2008. One scouting report this fall of an Arguelles workout, however, had him heavier and with diminished velocity, topping out at 89 mph in one session.
However, at his best, Arguelles evoked the good version of Francisco Liriano, as we wrote here (with apologies for having his name spelled in different ways.)
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