Following yesterday’s news that highly sought after Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is officially a free agent, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that another Cuban pitcher, right-hander Dalier Hinojosa, has also been cleared to sign with MLB teams.
Hinojosa defected from Cuba in February and has been petitioning MLB and the U.S. government for free agent status since. Sanchez writes that the 27-year-old Hinojosa “throws a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s.”
He’s an outright free agent and not subject to the draft because he’s older than 23 with more than three years of experience in Cuba, so expect a big payday.
With Wilson Ramos signing and the list of teams who are serious contenders for J.T. Realmuto shrinking by the day, we’re getting close to a game of musical chairs for teams looking for catchers. The biggest name left in that game is Yasmani Grandal, and Jon Morosi of MLB Network say that the Angels have their eye on him.
The Angels were one of the clubs that was in on Ramos before he signed with the Mets yesterday, so it makes sense. It also makes sense by virtue of the fact that, Grandal’s considerable postseason struggles aside, he has hit quite well in recent years. Indeed, his best offensive season came just this past year, with him hitting .241/.349/.466 (121 OPS+) with 24 home runs in 140 games. And, those postseason defensive struggles notwithstanding, he remains an excellent defensive catcher overall.