Mariners sign Cuban center fielder Guillermo Heredia

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Cuban center fielder Guillermo Heredia, who defected 13 months ago in the hopes of signing with an MLB team, has agreed to a deal with the Mariners.

No word yet on the terms of the contract, but because Heredia is 25 years old any money used to sign him won’t count against the Mariners’ yearly international bonus pool.

Ben Badler of Baseball America, who’s the go-to source for scouting reports on international prospects, wrote last year that Heredia “is a plus defender” in center field with “good range to go with a strong arm.” However, according to Badler “the question mark scouts have is on his bat.”

Heredia is a career .285 hitter in Cuba with as many walks as strikeouts in 374 total games, but has limited power and is not a base-stealing threat. Leonys Martin–who defected from Cuba in 2011 to sign with the Rangers–is atop the Mariners’ depth chart in center field, so Heredia is unlikely to be handed a full-time job in the majors right away.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.