Braves sign Cuban pitcher Carlos Portuondo

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Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Braves have signed right-hander Carlos Portuondo, who defected from Cuba.

According to Sanchez it’s a minor-league deal worth $990,000 and because Portuondo is 28 years old that amount won’t count against Atlanta’s yearly international prospect spending pool.

Ben Badler of Baseball America’s scouting report on Portuondo notes that he throws in the low-90s with a good slider, but “never had much success pitching in Cuba.” Sure enough, his year-by-year numbers are ugly–with lots of ERAs above 5.00 and nearly as many walks as strikeouts–although much of that came as a starter and the Braves plan to use him as a reliever.