Cuban righty Yariel Rodríguez was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball today as per the report of the colleague Francys Romero and at least 10 teams are interested in the pitcher’s services. As per Romero’s sources the Yankees, Astros, Mets, Giants, Rangers, Pirates, Phillies, Dodgers,White Sox and Bluejays all seem to be interested in the services of the flamethrower from Camagüey, Cuba.
Rodriguez (26) had another excellent showcase in front of the 30 MLB teams a few weeks ago. He faced experienced hitters such as Abraham Almonte and the Giants prospect, Marco Luciano at Santo Domingo’s Quisqueya Stadium. Rodriguez again exhibited an array of pitches and his fastball was between 94-97 MPH. There are about 4-5 teams actively in the bid for Rodriguez as week speak, per sources.
The colleague Francys Romero was also there to witness the tryout. His teammate in the World Baseball Classic, Luis Robert Jr. was present in the stands of Quisqueya stadium to witness the showcase and came down to greet his friend after all was said and done. Rodriguez is represented by Edgar Mercedes and Born To Play.
Cuban RHP Yariel Rodriguez (26) warming up and doing his routine before the showcase. pic.twitter.com/ZzsZVBNibw
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) October 25, 2023
Below is the velocity of Rodriguez’s pitches during the showcase:
According to scouting reports, the “Gallero de San Serapio” is valued at 50 million and does not have any type of restriction impeding his possible signing because he is over 25 years old and has played six years in a professional league. Rodríguez was solid and borderlining spectacular in his starts in the World Classic.
During that tournament Rodríguez tossed 7⅓ allowing two earned runs and striking out 10 batters. Although he did not factor in any decision he posted a 2.45 earned run average, but did walk an alarming six batters during his two starts in the tournament.
Sources: 10 teams right now are the strongest candidates to sign the Cuban RHP Yariel Rodríguez (26):
Waiting for free agency, Rodríguez threw 94-97 MHP in three consecutive tryouts… pic.twitter.com/vJ5I5Q6xvX
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) November 3, 2023
In 54.2 innings of work last season in the NPB Rodriguez gave up only seven earned runs. The right-hander had a 1.15 earned run average during 2022 and fanned 60, while only walking 18. During that campaign he did not allow a long ball and was named the reliever of the year in the land of the rising sun. The righty also tallied 39 holds and notched six victories in 2022. The only reason the Rodriguez was not the team’s closer was because Raidel Martínez his countrymen held that role.
The hurler’s fastball hit 100 miles per hour on the radar during one of his outings with the Chunichi last season. We will have to wait and see which organization signs the Cuban and what role he will be assigned upon signing with a ballclub.