HAVANA TIMES — Yoan Lopez, a 21-year-old right-hander has signed a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The agreement reached for $8.27 million is a record amount for an international player with less than five seasons played in his home country.
Lopez played three seasons with his home town team, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), with his best year being his final season in Cuba, (2013-2014) when he had a 3.12 earned run average (ERA) with 28 strikeouts in 49 innings.
Yoan acheived his dream to sign with a Major League team on the wave of dozens of successful players coming from Cuba, leading the Diamondbacks to take a chance on him. He had fled the island to Haiti last year along with his father and settled in the Dominican Republic to await his big chance.
The New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres had also expressed interest in the 6-foot-4-inch pitcher who has a fast ball reaching around 95 MPH and also a slider, change and a curveball.