Padres agree to $11M deal with 17-year-old Cuban pitcher
LOS ANGELES (AP) The San Diego Padres have agreed to terms with 17-year-old Cuban pitcher Adrian Morejon on a deal that includes an $11 million signing bonus and is pending a physical.
The left-hander led Cuba's 15-under league with 113 strikeouts in 68 innings in 2014, and had a 1.93 ERA while issuing 40 walks. Morejon was named most valuable player of the 15-under World Cup in Mexico, where he threw a complete game with 12 strikeouts in Cuba's 6-3 win over the U.S. in the gold medal game.
Morejon's deal, announced Friday, calls for him to receive $7.7 million within 30 days of the deal's approval by the Major League Baseball and $3.3 million on Jan. 15. It is contingent on him obtaining a visa.
Last year, Morejon pitched in several Cuban leagues. In 2014, he started six games in the Cuban National Series for Mayabeque, with a 4.88 ERA.
''I've watched a lot of video on him and I'm very impressed,'' Padres manager Andy Green said Friday. ''His curveball, he can really spin it, real professional approach on the mound. I think more than anything this says our ownership is committed to building a winner.''
It could be another three or four years before Morejon makes it to the big leagues.
''This is trying to build a sustained winner in San Diego,'' Green said. ''If you look back at the organizations that have had success, they all did it this way and they're reaping the reward right now. They made the investment in those types of guys years ago and now those guys fit in around the veterans. That's what we're trying to do.''