According to an ESPN Deportes report from Enrique Rojas, the Nationals have reached an agreement with Cuban defector 28-year old right-handed pitcher Yunieski Maya.
In 2008-09, Maya posted a 13-4 record with a 2.22 ERA and 119 strikeouts. In December, a scout informed Rojas that Maya’s fastball sat around 88-92 MPH, while the righty also featured a two-seamer, slider, curveball and change-up.
Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog has done an extensive job of covering Maya, as he reported the New York Mets interest in the righty from Cuba. However, it’s always hard to tell how defectors will pan out once they arrive to the Majors.
The Reds have taken a very conservative approach with Aroldis Chapman, but Chapman is much younger than the experienced Maya. He has enough pitches to maintain as a starter, but if those pitches don’t turn out to be plus pitches, he may be destined for the bullpen.
I’m sure he’ll get a few starts in the minors before being asked to pitch on the big club, so we’ll see how he performs in Syracuse. Time will tell if he’s the next Jose Contreras or the next Alay Soler.