Cuban pitcher Yariel Rodríguez and Toronto Blue Jays finalize a $32 million, 5-year contract

TORONTO (AP) — Cuban pitcher Yariel Rodríguez and the Toronto Blue Jays finalized a $32 million, five-year contract on Friday.

A 26-year-old right-hander, Rodríguez was 6-2 with a 1.15 ERA over 56 relief appearances in 2022 with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League. He struck out 60 and walked 18 over 54 2/3 innings.

He had a 2.45 ERA over 7 1/3 innings for Japan in last year’s World Baseball Classic, then sat out the season in anticipation of moving to Major League Baseball as a free agent.

Rodríguez was 10-10 with a 3.03 ERA and six saves over three seasons with the Dragons.

“Yariel brings a diverse arsenal, impressive athleticism, and ability to get swing and miss to our team,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. “He adds starting depth to our pitching group and has a chance to impact our major-league team in multiple roles.

Utilityman Otto Lopez was designated for assignment to open a roster spot.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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