The Cincinnati Reds signed their third free agent from Cuba since 2010, agreeing to terms Monday with shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, 22, will play in the Dominican Summer League. Last season, he was named rookie of the year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He hit .265 with 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts in 84 games for La Isla De La Juventud. He also won Cuba’s equivalent of the Gold Glove.
Rodriguez ranked sixth on MLB.com’s list of the top 30 international players available. According to the website, he signed a $7 million contract.
“Our whole group that scouted Aroldis and Raisel also saw Alfredo,” said Chris Buckley, the Reds’ senior director of amateur scouting in a statement. “We all think he’s an everyday shortstop with a chance to play plus defense. He’s a very smooth defensive infielder, a good line drive bat and a plus runner. We were impressed with his all-around defensive actions. It’s very hard to find an everyday shortstop who we liked everything about.”
Major League Baseball’s international signing period lasts from July 2-15. The Reds have signed two players from Cuba in recent years: closer Aroldis Chapman on Jan. 11, 2010; and pitcher Raisel Iglesias on June 27, 2014.
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