The Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton tweets that the Royals are close to an agreement with Cuban defector Noel Arguelles on a major league contract worth $7 million over five years.
We rated Arguelles as the No. 50 free agent in this year’s crop:
With fellow Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman getting all of the attention, Arguelles could fly under the radar and prove to be a bargain. The southpaw reportedly throws in the low-90s consistently, and while he’s going to need at least one year and probably two in the minors, he’s probably more polished than Chapman.
Odds are that Arguelles will begin his career in the low minors and fail to reach the majors before 2011, but he has the chance to be an impact starter down the line. The Royals are taking a big risk in handing him $7 million, but it seems like a better idea than spending that cash on a couple of veteran stopgaps for 2010.