Yankees sign Cuban pitcher Omar Luis Rodriguez

1 Comment

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have signed Omar Luis Rodriguez, a 19-year-old left-hander who defected from Cuba and was declared a free agent earlier this month.

According to Sanchez it’s a minor-league contract, which means Rodriguez won’t need to be added to the 40-man roster, but the Yankees are paying big-league money at around $4-5 million.

Sanchez reported previously that the Dodgers, Royals, and Phillies were interested in Rodriguez, who avoids the new collective bargaining agreement’s limits on international spending by signing before July 2.

Cuban outfielder Yasel Puig, a more highly touted prospect than Rodriguez, recently defected to Mexico in an effort to quickly establish residency and become a free agent before July 2.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.