The Indians and 19-year-old Cuban right-hander Leandro Linares have agreed to terms on a $950K bonus, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. The Tribe was said to be close to a deal in the $1MM vicinity over the weekend.
Badler calls him one of Cuba's top young pitchers and writes that the 6'3", 200-pound Linares sits 89-93 mph with his fastball, topping out at 94 mph. He also flashes a plus curveball at times and throws a potentially average changeup, according to Badler. Pitching in Cuba's 18U national league last season, he posted a 1.91 ERA with a 76-to-46 K/BB ratio in 66 innings. Not surprisingly, his command is the biggest issue for scouts.
Because Linares is younger than 23 and hasn't played in a Cuban professional league for at least three years, his signing comes out of the Indians' international bonus pool. Cleveland began the 2013-14 signing period with a pool of $3.64MM and has previously signed Dominican shortstop Willy Castro for $850K and outfielder Junior Soto for $600K.