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Friday, August 26, 2022

Cuban teen Luis Morales declared free agent by MLB, expected to get record bonus for a pitcher, source confirms

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 peaked at 97 or 99 mph in various workouts for MLB teams. He defected from the Cuban U-23 team in Mexico City in September 2021.

Morales, who held open showcases for teams in January and April in Mexico City, has a breaking ball that projects to be above average, but his changeup is a clear third pitch and his command still comes and goes, as is common for pitchers with that kind of velocity as a teenager.

Since most of the pool money in this current international signing period has been spent, Morales is expected to sign when the next period begins on Jan. 15.

The biggest bonus given to a pitcher since the international bonus pool was capped was to Cuban right-hander Sandy Gaston, who was given $2.61 million by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018. Shohei Ohtani received $2.315 million from the Los Angeles Angels in Dec. 2017.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 26, 2022 at 03:35 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuban players, luis morales

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   1. JRVJ Posted: August 26, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6093369)
I'll just assume he'll end up with the ChiSox.
   2. GregD Posted: August 26, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6093376)
I've read elsewhere he is considered heavy favorite to As but I've not seen why that's true. Yes they have big interest but wouldn't other teams? It's odd to think of the As winning a bidding war
   3. The Duke Posted: August 26, 2022 at 05:04 PM (#6093377)
If they do this the A's will certainly achieve the feat of more payroll dollArs allocated to MILB than MLB. Hurrah
   4. DCA Posted: August 27, 2022 at 12:19 AM (#6093421)
Cuban right-hander Sandy Gaston, who was given $2.61 million by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018

He's still young, but is already in the bullpen and 52 BB and 15 WP in 51 IP in low A this year.

Shohei Ohtani received $2.315 million from the Los Angeles Angels in Dec. 2017.

He's done a little bit better.

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