The Pirates finally consummated their deal with Cuban defector Yoslan Herrera, the righthander they agreed to sign in November.
Herrera, 25, signed a major league contract worth $1.92 million over three years, according to BA correspondent John Perrotto, and gets a $750,000 signing bonus. His base salaries in the deal are for between $380,000 and $400,000.
A 6-foot-2, 200-pound righthander, Herrera’s strong suits are his knack for pitching, command and above-average curveball. His fastball ranges between 88-92 mph and he also throws a split-finger fastball. Some scouts project him to throw harder once he’s throwing more regularly. Herrera is expected to start 2007 at Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Braves signed a less-touted Cuban player of their own, signing righthander Dunieski Rodriguez, 18, for a bonus of $100,000. Rodriguez is 6-foot-7 and shows average velocity on his fastball, with room for projection. He also throws a curve, slider and changeup in their rudimentary stages.
His half-brother, Cuban outfielder Ryde Rodriguez, was showcased with other Cubans and Nicaraguans in Managua, Nicaragua in early December, but has yet to sign with a club. Rodriguez, an 18-year-old switch-hitting outfielder, is not a defector of his native country, as he left Cuba legally to join his mother in Argentina before signing with an agent and moving to Nicaragua. The five-tool player was reportedly seeking a bonus upwards of $1 million.