The Red Sox have agreed to a 4.25 million dollar deal with Cuban righthander Dalier Hinojosa, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports.
Hinojosa, 27, defected from Cuba in February but wasn’t cleared for free agency until July. Because he is over the 23 year age limit for amateur free agents, the contract will not count against the Boston’s international bonus cap.
Ben Badler of Baseball America ran a profile on Hinojosa, and according to several scouts that he spoke to, Dalier is most likely a reliever in the long run. He features a three pitch repertoire, with an 88-92 MPH fastball, a changeup (or splitter, depending on which scout you ask), and a slurve of varying velocity. At 6 ft and 200 lbs, he is a bit undersized to be a starter, and his build along with his limited stuff should keep him in the pen.
For what its worth, Hinojosa was good but not great in Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top league. In the 2011-2012 season, he posted a 3.40 ERA with a 115 strikeouts, ranking 4th and 20th in those categories, respectively. Granted, Cuban stats – while well kept – are notoriously unreliable for making major league projections. The caliber of players can range anywhere 17 year olds who would struggle mightily in rookie ball to athletes talented enough to garner multi-million dollar major league contracts, to even the occasional pot bellied 45 year old. Its still encouraging, however, to see that he at least performed to some degree.
Hinojosa will likely report to AA or AAA to start next season, depending on his spring training performance.