Lorenzo Quintana of Team Cuba hits a RBI single at the top of the 7th inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool A game between Italy and Cuba at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 09, 2023 in Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Cuban national team and former Miami Marlins catcher Lorenzo Quintana signed with Tigres de Chinandega for the 2023-24 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional season in Nicaragua, Yusseff Diaz of Pelota Cubana reported on Tuesday.
Quintana, 34, was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba, and did not play with a Major League Baseball organization this season. He is currently a free agent.
During the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Quintana split time at the catcher position with Ariel Martinez and Andrys Perez, helping the Cuban national team reach the semifinals in Miami at loanDepot Park, where they lost to the United States 14-2.
In the World Baseball Classic, Quintana hit .125 in three games with eight at-bats, recording one hit, one RBI, one walk, and struck out once.
Last winter, Quintana played for Tigres del Licey in the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana, where in four games, he batted .308 with 14 plate appearances and four hits, three doubles, four RBI, and an .824 OPS.
Last season, Quintana split time in the Miami Marlins organization between Triple-A Jacksonville and the complex level before he was released on August 3, 2022. He played in 64 games with 265 plate appearances and 59 hits, 12 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 54 RBI, 19 walks, and struck out 55 times with a .773 OPS.
During the 2021 season, Quintana was traded from the Houston Astros to the Marlins on June 13, 2021. In the first half of the 2021 season, he played in 28 games with Triple-A Sugar Land, batting .311 with 113 plate appearances and 32 hits, three doubles, four RBI, nine walks, and 19 strikeouts with a .712 OPS.
After the trade, Quintana played 64 games in 2021 with Triple-A Jacksonville, batting .294 with 226 plate appearances and 60 hits, 14 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 34 RBI, 14 walks, and 45 strikeouts with a .879 OPS.
Quintana will play back-to-back winter league seasons for the first time since he played for the Cangrejeros de Santurce in Puerto Rico’s Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in the 2018-19 season and with Caneros de Los Mochis of Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico in the 2019-20 season.
Quintana has played in 52 games in three seasons of winter ball during his career, batting .263 with 49 hits, 11 doubles, four home runs, 25 RBI, 14 walks, 32 strikeouts and a .711 OPS.
Quintana left Cuba on January 23, 2015 with former Atlanta Braves and current SSG Landers Korean Baseball Organization outfielder Guillermo Heredia after playing seven seasons in Serie Nacional with Vegueros de Pinar del Rio.
Quintana did not play in 2015 and 2016 with any Major League Baseball Organization. He signed with the Houston Astros on October 4, 2017 to a minor league contract as an international free agent and was assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi during the 2018 season after being invited to minor league camp.
In his two seasons at Double-A Corpus Christi, Quintana batted .282 in 114 games with 445 plate appearances and 116 hits, 31 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 79 RBI, eight stolen bases, 23 walks, and 86 strikeouts with a .866 OPS before being promoted to Triple-A on May 26, 2019.
The 2023-24 Liga de Béisbol Profesional Nacional season will start on November 3, and Nicaragua’s 2024 Caribbean Series roster will be built with domestic and foreign players as reinforcements for the event. The LBPN winner will not represent Nicaragua at the 2024 Caribbean Series.
As many as eight foreign players are allowed on each team’s roster for the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional.
The five teams participating in the 2022-23 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional season are: Indios del Bóer, Tren del Norte, Leonés de León, Tigres de Chinandega, and Gigantes de Rivas.
There will be seven teams in the 2024 Caribbean Series, with one team sitting out each day during the pool round from February 1-7. Nicaragua will have an off day on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, during the Caribbean Series.