The Chicago White Sox may have made this week's big splash in the international free-agent market with the signing of Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, but the Boston Red Sox ended up with a consolation prize of their own. Boston has signed right-handed pitcher Dalier Hinojosa to a contract, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. Terms of the deal have yet to be announced, but Fox's Jon Heyman reports that Hinojosa will receive a $4 million signing bonus. Badler notes that, due to Hinojosa's age and experience, the bonus will not count against Boston's international bonus pool and thus won't limit their flexibility to sign other amateur players.
Hinojosa is a 27-year-old right-hander who spent eight seasons pitching for the Indios de Guantanamo in the Serie Nacional, Cuba's top league. In his last full season in Cuba (2011-2012), he finished fourth in the league in strikeouts and 20th in ERA, according to Badler. He has also pitched for the Cuban National Team in several international tournaments, although he was not on the roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Hinojosa defected from Cuba in February and was declared a free agent in July.
Badler offers the following scouting report on the 6'0, 200-pound hurler:
Hinojosa, 27, throws around 88-92 mph, with some reports that he has touched higher since leaving Cuba, albeit with inconsistent velocity. He throws a pitch that scouts describe as either a splitter or a changeup along with a slurvy breaking ball that, like many Cuban pitchers, he adds and subtracts from to vary the shape of the pitch.
Hinojosa was primarily a starter in Cuba, but he is likely to wind up in the bullpen if/when he reaches the majors. He is expected to start his U.S. career in the high minors, possibly at Triple-A Pawtucket.
If you're a Yankees fan, then you may enjoy watching this video of Hinojosa serving up two monster home runs to Alfredo Despaigne. The second appears to actually leave the stadium beyond the left-field seats:
For some more info on Hinojosa, including his stats from Serie Nacional, visit Obstructed View.