Reds sign 24-year-old Cuban right-hander Iglesias to 7-year deal

Raisel Iglesias was 8-12 with a 3.47 ERA in 88 appearances, all but five in relief, the last three years. 

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SAN FRANCISCO

The Cincinnati Reds are hoping for more success with a Cuban pitcher.

The Reds signed right-hander Raisel Iglesias to a 7-year deal on Friday. Several media outlets reported the deal is worth $27 million.

The 24-year-old Iglesias will join the Reds organization once his visa problems are resolved.

Iglesias defected from Cuba in November, two months after a failed attempt in Mexico. He also pitched for the Cuban national team and appeared in the World Baseball Classic last year for Cuba. 

He held a workout in Haiti for major-league scouts.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty suggested Iglesias will begin his Reds career at the team’s baseball academy in the Dominican Republic before being sent to the Arizona Rookie League.

"He’s a tremendous athlete, with two quality breaking pitches, a curveball and power slider, and has the makings of a quality changeup," Jocketty said. "Our scouts feel he can be a starter and be a starter very soon. The more pitching we can acquire, the more flexibility it gives us going forward."

The Reds won a bidding war for the services of their current closer, Aroldis Chapman, signing him to a 6-year deal in 2010.

"The decision was based on the evaluation of our scouts, the same group of guys who went to see Chapman," Jocketty said. "I guarantee you we saw him pitch more than any other club. I have tremendous respect and appreciation for the evaluation of our scouts. They’re hard-working and very diligent.

"It was a great organizational effort to get this done," he said. "We’re very excited about it."

Iglesias pitched for Isla de la Juventud in Cuba’s National Series for three years, compiling an 8-12 record with a 3.47 ERA over 88 appearances, all but five in relief.

He also pitched for the Cuban national team and appeared in the World Baseball Classic last year for Cuba.

Jocketty said Iglesias, a converted shortstop, can throw the ball up to 96 mph.