Scout's View: Serguey Linares
SAN JUAN--The Pirates signed 23-year-old Cuban defector Serguey Linares yesterday, but details of the signing still remain somewhat vague.
According to a scout in the Dominican Republic and a source in the U.S., Linares signed for $125,000--which is well below his previous offer from the Red Sox last fall.
Linares had agreed to terms with Boston in October for $460,000, but he did not pass a physical and the club reportedly backed away from the deal. The examination revealed a slight tear in the righthander's rotator cuff because of an abnormal bone growth in his throwing shoulder.
In two seasons in the Cuban League, Linares went 7-10, 5.59 with a 111-86 strikeout walk ratio in 163 innings. He hasn't pitched competitively since 2005 because of a lengthy process of getting unblocked--the approval process Cuban defectors have to go through to be cleared to sign with a major league club.
We talked to a scout who has seen Linares throw recently for an updated report on the righthander.
"From what I understand, there was some fraying of the muscle tissue and that was that," the scout said. "He throws hard, but he threw harder in the past--up to 98 (mph). But when I saw him about a month ago he was 90-91.
"So there is some medical to be concerned about, but he's never had surgery. He's a kind of guy that might be worth taking a gamble on. He throws a real hard sinker that was up to 93-94 at one point, and the four-seamer is mostly straight but he commands it.
"He throws two types of curveballs--one is a 12-to-6, but it lacks bite. It's slow, around 73, and too loopy. The other one his harder and comes across the zone, but it's maybe an average pitch at best. He's got a workable changeup, so it'll be interesting to see how he does if he's healthy."