A highly sought after 19-year-old pitcher is in position to command a huge payday.
Cuban right-hander Luis Morales will be eligible to sign with an MLB team on Sept. 7 after being declared a free agent on Thursday, and he is expected to demand a record-breaking sum for a pitcher from the international bonus pool, according to multiple reports.
Beisbolfr.com was the first to report that Morales will be declared a free agent by MLB.
The Oakland A’s, who are an AL-worst 46-81, are considered the heavy favorites to sign Morales. The young flamethrower’s velocity peaked between 97 and 99 mph in various workouts for MLB teams, according to ESPN.com
Cuban right-hander Luis Morales — a coveted 19-year-old prospect who is expected to demand a record-breaking sum for a pitcher from the international bonus pool — will be eligible to sign with an MLB team on Sept. 7 after being declared a free agent on Thursday, a source confirmed to ESPN.
The Oakland Athletics are considered heavy favorites to sign Morales who defected from the Cuban U-23 team in Mexico City in September 2021.
During open showcases for MLB teams in January and April, Morales showed off his top-flight fastball. He also has a breaking ball many in the game consider above average. Morales’ third pitch is the changeup, considered his weakest and most inconsistent pitch, but that is often the case for many young hard-throwing professional pitchers.
Most of the pool money in this current international signing period has been spent, meaning Morales is expected to sign during the next international signing on Jan. 15 because most of the pool money during this period has been spent.
In 2018, Sandy Gaston, a fellow Cuban right-hander, was given the biggest bonus given to a pitcher since the international bonus pool was capped in 2016, receiving $2.61 million by the Tampa Bay Rays. Superstar pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani received $2.315 million from the Los Angeles Angels in Dec. 2017.
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