Armando Rivero Rumors

Cubs Sign Armando Rivero

The Cubs signed Cuban right-hander Armando Rivero to a contract with a $3.1MM bonus, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune first reported the deal between the Cubs and the Praver Shapiro Sport Management client.

Rivero, 25, had been living and training in the Dominican Republic, Badler writes. He stands 6’3” and has the potential to pitch as a middle reliever at the MLB level. His best pitch is a fastball that can reach 96 mph, but he doesn’t have an above average secondary pitch, according to Badler. Rivero can throw a solid splitter and sometimes pitches from a low arm slot. His bonus won’t count against the Cubs’ 2012-13 international bonus pool.

More Potential Cuban Free Agents

There's been plenty of hype this week on Yoenis Cespedes, a Cuban center fielder who defected this summer and could command Aroldis Chapman money or more.  But yesterday,'s Jesse Sanchez provided more interesting names.

19-year-old outfielder Jorge Soler and 23-year-old right-hander Armando Rivero participated in a showcase at the Yankees' complex in Boca Chica last week.  Like Cespedes, both players are in the process of becoming eligible to play in the United States.  

One year ago, Baseball America's John Manuel had this to say about Soler:  "Soler has a strapping 6-foot-3, 205-pound body and has five-tool potential.  Soler has bat speed and what one scout called 'explosive power' to go with above-average arm strength."  He's on the Yankees' radar, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.  Sanchez writes that Rivero "features a slider, split-finger fastball, sinker and changeup in his repertoire and reached 98 mph with his fastball in the showcase."  King says he's viewed as a reliever.

Sanchez notes that outfielders Henry Urrutia and Gerald Sanchez and lefty Omar Luis also participated in the showcase.