Cuban right handed pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez held a showcase earlier today for Major League Baseball teams. Half of the teams in baseball were there, according to Baseball America’s JJ Cooper:
Didn’t do a full head count but 15+ teams at Vladimir Gutierrez workout. Maintained 93-95 t96. Improved SL and CB.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) March 17, 2016
Gutierrez is 6′ 3″ and 185 lbs and profiles as a starting pitcher despite being used as a reliever while he was in Cuba. He last pitched in Cuba at age 18 in the 2014 season. He made huge strides from 2013 as a 17-year-old to when he was an 18-year-old. Here are his Cuban League stats:
His control improved drastically in his second season, he struck out more batters in fewer innings, really lowered his ERA and his hits allowed rate.
He was ranked as the 7th best Cuban prospect at the end of February by Ben Badler at Baseball America. His curveball is his best secondary offering and flashes itself as a plus pitch, but he’s also throwing a change up and a slider.
The 20-year-old pitcher is subject to the international signing pools. If he signs before the July 2nd date that begins the new signing period, he will be subject to penalties for the Reds (and likely any other team that signs him). Even with the organization having the second largest bonus pool amount for the 2016 signing period (that begins in July), signing Gutierrez sounds like it would take more than the entire allotted budget.
With most teams already at or over their budget for the current signing period, if Gutierrez is going to sign soon, it would likely be to a team that is already over their budget. If he were to wait to sign until the next signing period, it would be quite beneficial for a team like the Reds. While any team is likely to go well over budget to just sign him, numerous big spending teams are ineligible to sign him in the next period.