4 Teams Pursuing Star Free Agent Yariel Rodriguez

The interest in Cuban right-handed pitcher Yariel Rodriguez has intensified across Major League Baseball, with several teams, including the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Houston Astros, emerging as potential suitors.

The New York Yankees have expressed a keen interest in Rodriguez as part of their strategy to bolster their pitching staff.

Rodriguez, who defected from Cuba and showcased his talents at the World Baseball Classic, had an impressive stint in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league.

In his most recent season with the Chunichi Dragons in 2022, he achieved a commendable 1.15 ERA over 54.2 innings pitched.

The Yankees, led by General Manager Brian Cashman, are reportedly considering Rodriguez as a multi-inning weapon, potentially adding depth to their pitching roster.

Rodriguez's pitch mix, which includes a mid-90s fastball that he can manipulate for different effects and a highly rated slider, makes him a versatile option for the Yankees, who could use him in various roles, including as a spot starter or a late-game reliever​.

The Toronto Blue Jays have also emerged as one of the strongest candidates to sign Rodriguez.

Reports indicate that the Blue Jays are among ten teams actively pursuing the Cuban pitcher.

Rodriguez's fastball, averaging between 94-97 mph, along with his dominant slider and curveball, has caught the attention of many in the industry.

Experts believe that Rodriguez could land a multi-year deal potentially worth between $40 million to $70 million.

His successful track record in the NPB, where he posted a 3.03 ERA over three seasons, along with a significant stint in Cuba's professional league, underscores his experience and potential value to MLB teams​.

Other teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros, are also in the mix.

Rodriguez's recent declaration as a free agent by the MLB has opened the door for him to sign with an MLB team.

His age, 27, is considered young for a free agent pitcher, adding to his appeal.

While there is some uncertainty about his transition to Major League Baseball, particularly due to the differences in baseballs used between the NPB and MLB, Rodriguez's potential as a starter or a high-impact reliever makes him a sought-after free agent.