Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Along with the likes of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shōta Imanaga and Jung Hoo Lee, Yariel Rodríguez is another international free agent who has drawn interest from multiple teams this offseason.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were among them, as they faced a need for multiple starting pitchers prior to trading for Tyler Glasnow and signing Yamamoto. Rodríguez has been training in the Dominican Republic and recently held a showcase that was attended by the Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and more teams.
Now with Spring Training fast approaching, Rodríguez is signing with the Blue Jays, according to international MLB reporter Francys Romero:
Cuban right-hander Yariel Rodríguez (26) and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a contract, per sources.
Rodríguez is expected to do the physical in the coming days in Toronto.
He is represented by WME agency and Edgar Mercedes from Born to Play. pic.twitter.com/o1Wddu2Nit
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) January 17, 2024
Rodríguez’s professional career began as an 18 year old when he pitched in the Cuban National Series during the 2015-2016 season. Then in 2020, he joined the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball, and has been utilized out of the bullpen the past three seasons.
The right-hander went 6-2 with a 1.15 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 9.9 strikeouts per nine in 56 appearances for the Dragons in 2022. However, he did not report to the team in last year, but pitched in a starting role for Team Cuba during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Yariel Rodríguez was intriguing candidate
Although Rodríguez recently spent time pitching out of the bullpen, his ability to start games made him a natural fit for the Dodgers.
Even with Glasnow and Yamamoto in the fold, the Dodgers remain in search of another starter, and a Dylan Cease trade looks less likely at present time.
Signing Rodríguez would have given the Dodgers a valuable swingman during the regular season and candidate to shift to a bullpen role come the playoffs.
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