Cuba Express, 160km after WBC, pitched two innings in front of BOS and SD, and said, “I can sign 91.4 billion won.”

Cuban pitcher Yariel Rodriguez, 26, who went into exile in the United States instead of returning to Japan after the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), is finally in front of a major league team interested in signing him.

According to Japan’s Junichi Sports, Frances Romero, a reporter for the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), reported that Rodriguez pitched two innings in the Dominican Republic on June 26 in front of officials from the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres.굿모닝토토

“Rodriguez is still young at 26, and with bullpen shortages in each of the majors, there is some speculation that he could get a big contract, possibly totaling $70 million,” the media outlet said.

Rodriguez has been with the Junichi Dragons in Japan since the 2020 season. He came into his own in 2022 after a bullpen transformation. Rodriguez went 6-2 with a 1.15 ERA in 56 games, 5⅔ innings pitched, and 39 holds, earning him the Central League Pitcher of the Year award.

He tops out at over 100 mph and throws a variety of pitches, including a slider, curve changeup, splitter, and two-seam.

After the season, Rodriguez signed a two-year contract with Junichi. Rodriguez’s performance earned him a call-up to the national team. He represented Cuba at the WBC in March.

Cuba fell short in the semifinals against the United States, losing 2-14. However, Rodriguez was nowhere to be seen in Japan after the tournament ended. Instead of returning to Japan after the tournament, Rodriguez went AWOL, and it was later discovered that he did not return to Japan to seek asylum in the United States.

Junichi eventually terminated his contract, and Rodriguez sat out the entire season.

He then moved on to pursue his major league dreams. As a free agent, Rodriguez had a showcase in front of major league clubs.

At the time, Major League Baseball Trade Reporters (MLBTR) reported that “The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, 

Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants are among the 10 teams showing interest.”

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