Ben Badler of Baseball America is reporting the Reds have signed Cuban pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez for $4.75 million.
The Reds have an agreement in place to sign 20-year-old Cuban righthander Vladimir Gutierrez for $4.75 million, multiple sources told Baseball America. Gutierrez’s contract is subject to the international bonus pools, which the Reds already blew past on July 2 with their $7 million contract for Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez. The agreement was first reported by Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald.
At 6-foot-3, Gutierrez is a lanky, long-armed pitcher who has been one of the top prospects on the international market for a while, with his stock initially dipping upon poor early showcases before rising higher than after when his velocity spiked earlier this year, touching 97 mph after he topped out at 93 mph in Cuba to go with a swing-and-miss curveball. While his assignment for next year has yet to be determined, based on his present ability, he should start in the minors at one of the Class A levels.
Read the rest of Badler’s report here.
Doug Gray wrote this about Gutierrez earlier this week:
He will turn 21-years-old next month. The 6′ 3″ and 175 lb. righty has two potential plus pitches with a fastball that reaches 97 MPH. He mixed in a curveball in the 78-81 MPH range with good biting action. He also mixes in a change up that shows itself to be an average pitch.
Vladimir Gutierrez is the top pitching prospect left on the international market. With his age he is likely to command $10+M to sign. That would easily be the biggest amount the team has paid out to an amateur under the new signing rules.
Read the rest of Doug’s column here.
Steve Adams of MLBTR wrote this about Gutierrez:
Cincinnati, of course, has had its share of success in dipping into the Cuban market for high-upside arms, enjoying success with the likes of Aroldis Chapman and Raisel Iglesias. However, both Chapman and Iglesias signed at a considerably later stage in their careers. Gutierrez will have a lengthier path to the Majors and will be subject to the standard pre-arbitration pay scale and six full seasons of control for the Reds upon reaching the big leagues. His numbers in a brief Serie Nacional career in Cuba were solid, albeit not overwhelming; in 118 1/3 innings, Gutierrez logged a 3.27 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9. Of course, he’s come quite a ways in his development since that time, as his last work in Cuba’s top league came when he was still just 18 years of age.
Film at 11.
With the Reds already over their annual limit for international signings because of their $7 million deal with SS Alfredo Rodriguez, this agreement will cost the team about $9.5 million after the penalties involved. Clearly the organization is paralyzed by Joey Votto and Homer Bailey’s contracts.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.