Misael Siverio Rumors

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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