By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 8 – While the bidding war continues to try and sign Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman, a lesser known exile, Noel Arguelles, also a southpaw, has signed a five year major league contract with the Kansas City Royals for US $7 million, plus $2 million in further incentives.

Arguelles was the star left handed pitcher on Cuba’s 2007 18-and-under team.  He reportedly has a 94 MPH fastball as well as a curveball and good change-up.

Like Chapman, Arguelles -who turns 20 next week- will need to improve on his control to reach potential in the highly demanding US Major Leagues.

Arguelles is expected to begin the 2010 baseball season in the Class A minor leagues.

He abandoned his Cuban team to pursue a professional career after winning the gold medal game at the July 2008 Junior World Championships in Canada.

Meanwhile the bidding war for Chapman, 21 and known for his up-to-102 MPH fastball, continues with several MLB teams still in the race including the Los Angeles Angels, who have budding star Kendry Morales of Cuba and a friend of Chapman on first base.

The Cuban press does not report on the island’s nationals who abandon their country’s amateur teams to play professional sports in foreign countries.


One thought on “Noel Arguelles Gets $7 Million plus

  • As the lyrics of that post World War I song go, “How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm now that they’ve seen Paree?” Still, it’s a harsh world up here, and even those baseball stars who have lived their entire lives in the U.S. are often unprepared for the pitfalls of sudden success. I’m reminded of an ex-major leaguer who, some years back, was a guest at the homeless shelter where I worked (from 1986-2007). All his wives, mistresses, homes and $$$ were gone by the time he arrived at our doorstep. Hence, Chapman and Arguelles should not forget about sending some remittances home, so that at least some of the boodle rolling in now can be put to productive use, just in case the rest of it flows away.

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