Cuban righty Yaisel Sierra performed well before an audience of 350 scouts and baseball officials at a showcase Thursday in Jupiter, Florida, and is likely to receive a big-league contract, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez writes. Sierra had previously been giving showcases in the Dominican Republic. Teddy Cahill of Baseball America writes that Sierra was throwing in the mid-90s and used a quality slider in the 87-MPH range as his out pitch. He threw three perfect innings on Thursday, albeit against younger competition.
The 24-year-old Sierra has not yet been declared eligible to be signed by a big-league team, but when he is, he will not be subject to rules regarding international bonus pools. Via Baseball America’s Ben Badler, Sierra had pitched professionally for five seasons in Cuba. Sanchez writes that Sierra’s deal could be similar to the $27MM contract Raisel Iglesias received from the Reds, or the $32MM deal Jose Contreras got from the Yankees in 2002. Badler notes that Sierra is bigger than Iglesias, but his performance record isn’t as strong. In his 2013 season with Holguin in Cuba, Sierra posted a 3.92 ERA with a 7.0 K/9 in 101 innings, although with 5.7 BB/9.