Cuban right-hander Yaisel Sierra has been granted free agency, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports on Twitter. The 24-year-old is now free to sign with any team without restriction, as he is not subject to the international spending limitations.
It’s not clear what kind of signing timeline to expect, but Sierra has already shown his full arsenal on several occasions to major league scouts. Most recently, he faced live batters in a Florida showcase, reportedly drawing rave reviews for his mid-nineties heater and promising slider. Baseball America’s Hudson Belinksky came away impressed, writing:
The righthanded Sierra looked extremely polished on the mound. He repeated his moderate stride very well, consistently landing online and hitting his spots down in the strike zone. Sierra has a clean arm action, with a smooth wrap in the back and ease through release.
As BA’s Ben Badler explains, Sierra possesses “the best pure stuff” of any Cuban pitcher. But he’s never been dominant in Serie Nacionale; at times, in fact, he’s struggled. And Sierra has generally shown “poor command and pitchability,” according to Badler, with his relatively advanced age also limiting his appeal.
It’s certainly possible that Sierra’s recent showcases have upped the price tag, of course. And he is believed to be near big league readiness, which means any investment has some hope of paying off sooner rather than later.
Sanchez has previously suggested that Sierra could receive offers of around $30MM in total value. While it obviously remains to be seen what kind of cash he will be able to pull down, a commitment of that level would likely only be available if teams think he has some possibility of sticking in a rotation.
I’d like to see the Dodgers grab him
I’d like the Dodgers to overpay for yet another player and still continue to lose. It’s better than Christmas when the Dodgers tank.
Well….. This will certainly throw a wrench into the Astros, Dodgers, Royals, Orioles, A’s search for rotation help
No way this guy is ready to start in the mlb this year, probably not 2017 either.
will it? he has scouting hype and is interesting, but he was last seen putting up a 7.0 K/9 with a 5.7 BB/9 in cuba as a 22-year-old. i understand that cuban numbers are extremely weird, but (almost) regardless of level or context ratios like that make me at least kind of wonder how ready he is to step directly into the major leagues and be effective
so i don’t see him as like a maeda where you’re gonna sign him and immediately pencil him into your team for next year. maybe he comes into camp and is dynamite, but until he does, he’s operating more on a prospect level
What are his career stats?
Awesome! A reliever with a 6.10 ERA, 4.5 BB/9, and a 1.62 WHIP in the Cuban League is a free agent. Yes, he is young, but so are a lot of other guys in AA and most of them aren’t good enough for the majors either.
His inflated ERA seems to come from some bad-luck BABIP more so then a lack of talent. He seems to have some very raw stuff, which explains his high BB and K ratio, so a lack of control is expected. What really catches my attention is his low HR/9 (0.4). Of course, Homeruns are not very common in Cuba from what I can see. So yeah, he could be a low tier prospect for all we know if his ability to limit long balls blows up.
Meant so say “as you said” instead of “for all we know”. Typos, ya know?
young guy bad control is one thing, but his pure K numbers aren’t even good. that’s the most off-putting thing for me. if his stuff is so mindblowing why was he striking out less than a batter per inning in cuba. with bad WHIPs, even, so his K% was even lower than a guy with a 7.0 K/9 who was just getting a lot of outs on the ground.
but who knows, it’s been two years since he put up any of those numbers, maybe he’s become awesome since then. it does happen. at that point you’re putting a lot of stock into a showcase though.
The kind of pitching stats the Rockies Front Office loves!
His price tag won’t be high every hear of buy low decent profit after 1-2 years in minor league
Now the real drama.. Dodgers or the Cubs?
30 million in total value doesn’t really say much. Are we assuming anywhere from a 2 to 6 year contract?
Yankees could be in the running considering they need help with the rotation. With the pick up of Chapman today they need to work on the starters now.
If you can’t ‘Chapman’ the Cuban leagues, you certainly shouldn’t be considered a must get. Hey, I am a free agent as well.
Go get him braves put him in the bullpen please
Logically, that would be a good fit for a team in rebuild mode, but realistically it.probally wont happen
Best pure stuff of any Cuban pitcher? Chapman is consistently 102 mph, he surely doesn’t have that kind of stuff.
i think the intent there was probably best stuff of any cuban pitcher who isn’t already signed into the MLB system
If the Yankees were smart they’d see if they could turn him back into a starter in Spring Training. He always wanted to start, so he might be on board to give it a try. He’s never had any real arm issues that I’m aware of, and they only have him for one year,(barring the suspension changing things), so even if it doesn’t work out and he has to go back to the bull pen, I think the potential upside is worth the risk. If he’s smart, he should be willing to try it also. As a FA next year, he could potentially double his AAV from $15 mm for an elite closer, to $30 mm for an ace starter. If it worked out and with his young age, 10 years and $300 mm isn’t out of the question.