According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Reds have agreed to a $6 million deal with Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez. Because of his age and experience level, he is subject to MLB’s international spending limit. Signing Rodriguez puts the Reds over, so they’ll have to pay a $6 million penalty in addition to the contract.
Rodriguez, 21, left Cuba after being named the 2014-15 Serie Nacional Rookie of the Year. He batted only .265/.301/.284 over 304 plate appearances last year, so he doesn’t do much with the bat, but Ben Badler of Baseball America notes that he was “arguably the best defensive shortstop in Cuba” and has plus-speed.
The Reds already have Zack Cozart, Eugenio Suarez, and Jose Peraza as potential shortstop options, so it’s unclear where Rodriguez fits on the roster in the short-term. At the very least, they can afford to give him some time in the minors.