The latest baseball sensation out of Cuba may be with an MLB organization very soon. Right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez cleared the final hurdle standing between him and free agency earlier this week, and now could sign a contract with a big-league club as early as next week, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
More Gonzalez: Cuban Prospect Auditions for Clubs
Gonzalez, 26, has been a primary target on several teams' wish lists since he began holding private showcases in Mexico late last month. The only thing keeping seriously interested clubs like the Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, and Red Sox from inking the 6'3 right-hander before now was final clearance from the US Treasury Department.
Now that Gonzalez has been cleared -- he secured his "unblocking license" on Monday -- interested teams like the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Braves are free to negotiate with him as much as they like. It was rumored a few weeks ago that the big right-hander might command as much as $60 million over five years, which would blow Yasiel Puig's record deal with the Dodgers out of the water.
Part of the reason that Gonzalez is believed to be worth so much is that scouts believe he will be ready to face MLB hitters after just a few minor-league starts, meaning he could very well help a contending team's rotation down the stretch. Since Gonzalez is a Cuban player over the age of 23 with at least three years pro experience (in Cuba), he's also not tied to the international spending limits, giving teams free rein to throw as much money at him as they see fit.
There's still quite a bit of mystery surrounding Gonzalez since team scouts are essentially the only people to have seen him throw recently, but he's said to throw four pitches: a mid-90s fastball, a forkball, a curve, and a change-up. Here's a video of Gonzalez from 2010: