Yankees sign Cuban pitcher Omar Luis Rodriguez

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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.