Misael Siverio Rumors

Quick Hits: Bean, Bryant, Cuesta, Siverio, Astros

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tells the story of Billy Bean’s return to baseball as MLB’s newly-appointed Ambassador For Inclusion. Paul Mifsud — MLB vice president and deputy general counsel, and one of the key players in hiring Bean — said that he has experienced “a tremendous feeling of pride … using baseball to help people.”

Here are the latest notes from around the league …

  • Top Cubs prospect Kris Bryant is very much on the cusp of MLB action, even if it won’t come this season, writes ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers. But it remains to be seen at what position he will end up. Bryant himself hopes to stay at third, and said he is proud of his improvements at the position this year. Meanwhile, club president Theo Epstein noted that the team will look to get Bryant some time in the outfield to “keep that fresh for him” going forward. “We think — no doubt in our minds — he can play third base and be a really good third baseman,” explained Epstein, “but we just don’t know how the roster is going to look a year from now, two years from now, five years from now.”
  • Cuban ballplayers Jozzen Cuesta and Misael Siverio recently put on a showcase, and Jeff Moore of Baseball America provides an account (subscription required). Scouts came away somewhat underwhelmed by the “pedestrian performances” they witnessed, according to Moore.
  • The upcoming Astros managerial search will once again be an uncertain undertaking for an organization that hopes to thrive on scientific decisionmaking, writes Ben Lindbergh of Grantland.com. GM Jeff Luhnow will need to evaluate how he interacts with his next manager, says Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, who notes that other teams (like the Athletics and Rays) seem to have been able to find smooth partnerships between forward-thinking front offices and their field managers.

Twenty Teams Attend Showcase For Cuesta, Siverio

FRIDAY: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that 20 teams were in attendance for the showcase.

TUESDAY: Cuban first baseman Jozzen Cuesta and Cuban left-hander Misael Siverio will host a showcase for interested clubs on Friday in Jupiter, Fla., agent Eric Izen of the Legacy Agency tells MLBTR.

The last we heard on the 25-year-old Siverio came back in May when he was declared eligible for free agency. The 25-year-old Cuesta was, at the time, said to be awaiting clearance from Major League Baseball and the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control, but he has since been cleared by both entities and is now eligible to sign with any club. The 6’2″, 220-pound first baseman is said to possess some power and will present a younger alternative to the first basemen on the free agent market.

Reports on Siverio peg the lefty at 5’9″ tall, and while he’s not said to possess an overpowering fastball, he had drawn interest from 10 teams back in May. Siverio pitched in front of several clubs at a showcase in June, and the Yankees, Cubs and Astros were among the teams in attendance, MLBTR has learned.

Siverio posted a 3.24 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over his career in Cuba’s Serie Nacional – a span of 153 games (75 starts). More recently, he pitched in Mexico this past winter, posting a 2.45 ERA and a 36-to-10 K/BB ratio. His full statistics and some video footage can be seen at ObstructedView.net.


Latest On Cuban Pitcher Misael Siverio

24-year-old Cuban lefty Misael Siverio, who has officially been declared a free agent, is expected to put on a showcase for MLB scouts on June 10 in Tijuana, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. Siverio defected last summer with hopes of reaching the big leagues.

As Nicholson-Smith writes, the 5’9 Siverio does not have a big fastball, but had a successful run through the Mexican Winter League last year. Through 29 1/3 innings, he posted a 2.45 ERA with 36 strikeouts against ten walks. Previous reports have indicated that, despite a relatively low profile, Siverio has drawn interest from about ten MLB clubs.

Several other recent Cuban defectors have inked minor league deals in recent months, including catcher Yenier Bello of the Braves ($400K bonus), righty Odrisamer Despaigne of the Padres ($1MM), and righty Dalier Hinojosa of the Red Sox ($4.25MM). Another player hoping to move from his home island to the North American professional ranks is first baseman Jozzen Cuesta, says Nicholson-Smith. However, Cuesta is still awaiting clearance from MLB and the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).



Cuban Pitcher Misael Siverio Defects

Another Cuban pitcher is attempting to make the leap to Major League Baseball.  Misael Siverio, a 24-year-old lefty, was in Des Moines, Iowa Tuesday in advance of exhibition games against United States colleges, and he left the team hotel to pursue the Major League dream, according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald.

"It is not easy leaving behind what is yours, but after a giving it a lot of thought I made this decision for my future and for my family.  My dream, of course, is to make the Major Leagues, and starting today I will start doing what I need to do to accomplish that," Siverio told Ebro in Spanish.

Given his age, it appears Siverio will not be subject to the international signing restrictions established in the collective barganing agreement.  He also has to have played a minimum of three professional seasons in a Cuban professional league, which seems likely.  Most Cuban defectors establish residency in countries other than the U.S., to avoid being subject to MLB's amateur draft.  So while Siverio defected in Iowa, we'll have to see if he will be headed back out of the country in the name of being declared an MLB free agent.

A couple of Cuban pitchers have already been declared free agents: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Dalier Hinojosa.  Gonzalez will sign first, tweets MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.  Another Cuban pitcher, Odrisamer Despaigne, doesn't appear to be a free agent yet.


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