Cubs Sign Cuban Right-Hander
The Chicago Cubs have signed Cuban prospect Armando Rivero to a deal with a $3.1 million bonus, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. The Cubbies have reportedly had an agreement in place with the right-hander for several months, but the deal wasn't made official until now. The 25-year-old will likely settle into a middle-relief role in the Cubs organization. per Badler. The 6' 3", 180-pound right-hander boasts a fastball that sits in the low-90s and a "solid splitter," but not much else. Because of his age and four years' experience in Cuba's top league, his bonus will not affect Chicago's international spending funds for the year.
Dodgers Release Pair, Sign Four Others
The Dodgers have released utilityman Nick Evans and veteran catcher Ramon Castro, report Adam Rubin of ESPN and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, respectively. The pair, who were teammates for a time on the Mets, signed on with the Dodgers on minor-league deals over the winter. Neither has appeared in the Majors since 2011, nor were they in big-league camp. Gurnick also reports that the Dodgers have been busy on the international market, signing a trio of players from the Dominican Republic -- shortstop Dennis Santana, shortstop Carlos Aquino, and left-hander Cesar Romero -- and Curacaoan catcher Dashenko Ricardo. Ricardo, 23, was the starting backstop for the Netherlands in the WBC and Gurnick hears that LA may try to convert him into a pitcher like they did with fellow Dodger Kenley Jansen.
Cardinals Release De La Cruz
The St. Louis Cardinals have released young Dominican corner infielder Roberto De La Cruz, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 21-year-old, signed to a $1.2 million bonus back in 2008 when St. Louis was just getting started in the Latin American market, showed flashes of power in his four years with the Cards' organization but ultimately didn't pan out. De La Cruz hit .227/.262/.384 in roughly 900 plate appearances stateside, never making it above Single-A ball.