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Report: Rays Interested In Cuban Free Agent Noel Arguelles

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Per Kiley McDaniel, the Rays are a finalist in the "heated" bidding for Cuban free agent pitcher Noel Arguelles. It's hard to speculate on a dollar figure, but one would believe the Rays have some money left over from the unsigned draft picks to make a decent bid for the young left hander's services.

Arguelles is a 20 year-old lefty, who some felt would've fallen into the late first round or sandwich round had he been in the amateur draft. Stuff wise, Arguelles throws a fastball, curveball, change-up and a slider (Note: Kiley says he may have scrapped this as he did not throw it during a recent workout) that could be a plus pitch with more development. As a member of the Cuban Junior team, his reported velocity was in the 92-95 MPH area, but he fell out of shape and saw his velocity dip to the high 80s at some of his earlier workouts. More recent reports have him in much better shape and his velocity back in the low 90s.

Obviously, he would start in the minor leagues, but the consensus is that he could rapidly move through the minor leagues. We do not know how high the Rays rank among the finalists, but it's believed the Rays are serious players. If nothing else, it's an interesting situation to monitor before the MLB free agency period begins.

Update: here's video of Arguelles, as taken by Kiley:

 

Noel Arguelles from Kiley McDaniel on Vimeo.