SAN FRANCISCO - Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the signing of Cuban free agent starting RHP Raisel Iglesias to a 7-year contract through the 2020 season.
Iglesias, 24, will join the organization once visa issues are resolved.
"He's a tremendous athlete, a converted shortstop. He throws 94-96 with two quality breaking pitches, a curveball and power slider, and has the makings of a quality changeup," Jocketty said. "He has four quality pitches, and our scouts feel he can be a starter and be a starter very soon. What we've tried to develop here is pitching and defense. The more pitching we can acquire, the deeper we can get, the more flexibility it gives us going forward."
Jocketty added, "It was a great organizational effort to get this done, and we're very excited about it. The decision was based on the evaluation of our scouts, the same group of guys who went to see (Aroldis) Chapman. I guarantee you we saw him pitch more than any other club. I have tremendous respect and appreciation for the evaluation of our scouts. They're hard-working and very diligent."
Iglesias pitched for Isla de la Juventud in Cuba's National Series for 3 seasons and compiled an 8-12 record and 3.47 ERA over 5 starts and 83 relief appearances (223ip, 202h, 115bb, 169k, 11hr).