The Atlanta Braves have agreed to sign Cuban catcher Yenier Bello to a minor league contract that includes an invite to major league spring training and an undisclosed signing bonus, according to an industry source. The deal was first reported by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
The deal will keep Bello under Braves control for six seasons and is pending the approval of the 29-year old's work visa, according to a baseball source. The deal is expected to be announced sometime this week.
Bello drew interest from as many as 20 major league teams including the Padres, Braves and Mets after being cleared to sign in January. He will likely head to either Double-A or Triple-A this season for the Braves, providing depth behind Evan Gattis, Gerald Laird and top prospect Chrisian Betancourt.
Bello hit .274 with 13 HR over a 90-game season in Cuba's Serie Nacional in 2011 before being suspended for the last two seasons after a failed attempt to escape from Cuba.