The Yankees have agreed to terms with Dominican righthander Jose Rafael DePaula, one of the top pitchers available on the international market.
DePaula's contract with the Yankees is still contingent on him passing his investigation with Major League Baseball and subsequently obtaining his work visa. In DePaula's case, that's a fairly significant contingency.
One of the top unsigned pitchers in Latin America since 2008, DePaula was suspended for one year in May 2009 by MLB for misrepresenting his date of birth, which he had presented as April 1, 1992. This June, DePaula came forward with a new date of birth—March 24, 1991, making him 19—and a new name, switching from Rafael DePaula Figueroa to Jose Rafael DePaula.
While DePaula still needs to pass his investigation and acquire a work visa for the deal to become official, his talent made him one of the most sought-after pitchers in Latin America regardless of questions about his age. DePaula, who is around 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, has a plus fastball that has been clocked in the mid-90s. He also flashes a good breaking ball with sharp bite and shows solid mechanics.
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