Report: Red Sox Interested in Cuban Pitcher Raciel Iglesias


January 11, 2014

The Boston Red Sox missed out on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Jose Dariel Abreu in the last few months. It appears general manager Ben Cherington now might be eyeing another Cuban defector.

The Red Sox are interested in Cuban pitcher Raciel Iglesias, according to Peter Gammons. Iglesias successfully defected from Cuba in October after being detained in his initial attempt to leave the country.

Iglesias, who turns 24 in April, possesses a 92- to 95-mph fastball with a swing-and-miss breaking ball but questionable control, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler. The right-hander likely would begin in the minors if he signed with a Major League Baseball team.

Iglesias can sign for any amount and will not count against a team’s international signing pool because he is 23 years old and has more than three years of professional experience. Iglesias, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, was used primarily as a reliever in Cuba, although it’s possible that he could be groomed as a starter upon joining a major-league organization.

Iglesias pitched for Isla de la Juventud in Serie Nacional while in Cuba. He made 15 appearances (two starts) and posted a 1.68 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 20 walks in 53 2/3 innings during the first of two season phases in 2012-13. He then had a 5.59 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks in 29 innings over 15 appearances during the second phase.

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