Baltimore is dipping into the national market once again. The Orioles have been comparably quiet on the international front, but according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the club has signed Cuban lefty Ariel Miranda to a deal pending a physical.
Miranda, 25, will not be subject to International Bonus Pool rules because of his age and experience in Cuba's Serie Nacional. The 25-year old left-handed prospect posted a 3.24 ERA while also posting a 9.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 over 13 starts with both Mayabeque and Isla de la Juventud during the 2013 campaign.
Listed as 6-foot-3 and 168 pounds, Miranda was on MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez's list of Cuban free agents that were highly sought-after. After pitching in Cuba, Miranda became a resident of Haiti and subsequently trained in the Dominican Republic, according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald.
Ebro adds Miranda will be represented by Praver Shapiro, who has a notable amount of experience representing players from the Greater Antilles region. Although his physical stature may lead some to suggest otherwise, Miranda's athleticism has been praised by major league scouts. The significant amount of interest in Miranda, according to Ebro, also results from his physical ability for a pitcher of his size.
At just 25, Miranda has nine season of professional baseball experience. To avoid being part of the money major league clubs are allowed to spend on international prospects, an athlete must be over 23 and have at least three seasons of professional experience.
Miranda initially made his debut as a reliever and ended his Cuban career with a 22-25 record. He was one of several Cuban athletes given an opportunity to travel to the United States and play for a college squad in Des Moines last July, but was ultimately left out of the final pre-selection group.