Cuban pitcher Raicel Iglesias defects

Koji Watanabe

The young right-hander reportedly left the island by boat on Saturday. It is unknown where he is now.

Cuban pitcher Raicel Iglesias has not reported for training with the national team this week, leading several to believe he has defected, reports Nelson Acosta of Reuters.

A Cuban exile website based in Miami, CaféFuerte, was first to report that the young right-hander had escaped, writing that Iglesias left by boat on Saturday from the northeast corner of the island. His whereabouts at the moment are unknown.

If/when his defection is confirmed in the coming days, it will make him the fourth national team player to do so this year. First baseman Jose Dariel Abreu, right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne and left-hander Misael Silverio all left earlier in the summer.

Iglesias will not be able to negotiate with big-league clubs until he establishes residency in a neighboring country 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 without dealing with the regular international bonus pool restrictions.

Iglesias, 23, pitched mostly in relief in the Serie Nacional for the last three years, but did start a few games this past season. The posted a 1.68 earned-run average with 50 strikeouts in 52⅓ innings in his most recent campaign with Isla de la Juventud.

Per Baseball America, the 5 11", 165-pound right-hander boasts a mid-90s fastball, which he complements with a sweeping breaking ball that sits between 76-81 miles per hour. Iglesias has had some control issues in the past, but his walk rate has declined significantly in the last year or so.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Closing Time: A Mariano Rivera retrospective

Tigers win the AL Central | Video: Jim Leyland dances

Braves, Brewers brawl over Carlos Gomez HR | Top 10 Gomez faces

Which managers are on the hot seat?

Grant Brisbee: The unlikeliness of Jason Giambi

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.