Young right-hander Raicel Iglesias has become the latest Cuban baseball player to successfully defect from his home country, reports the Havana Times.
Iglesias left Cuba by sea on Oct. 9 and eventually made his way to Mexico, where he is currently residing, per MLBTR.
The 23-year-old was detained in his initial attempt to flee Cuba back in late September. He attempted to elude capture by lying low in the mountains for several days, but was eventually forced out of hiding due to dehydration. At that point, he was arrested and handed a one-year suspension from baseball, according to Diario de Cuba.
The right-hander will not be able to negotiate with big-league clubs until he establishes residency somewhere and is declared a free agent by MLB. The process usually takes a few months, but once that happens he will be able to sign with any club.
Because he is 23 and spent at least three seasons in Cuba's top league, Iglesias is not beholden to the bonus pool restrictions that limit the contracts of other international free agents. Like former national squad teammate and new White Sox first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu, Iglesias could be headed for a nice pay day once he hits the open market.
Per Baseball America, Iglesias is a 5 11", 165-pound right-hander with a mid-90s fastball, a sweeping breaking ball and the command concerns that always seem to accompany young pitching prospects.