The Nationals, according to an ESPNDeportes.com report, have signed Cuban pitcher Yuneski Maya, a 28-year-old right-hander who could have the potential to join the team's rotation before the end of the season and give it a jolt in future years. He would be the highest-profile international signing in the team's time in Washington.
Maya went 48-29 with a 2.51 ERA in six seasons in the Cuban National Series, and played for Cuba in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic. He left Cuba last September for the Dominican Republic, and has been authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to sign with an MLB team for a month, the report said.
If Maya passes his physical, which the report said he would take next week in Washington, he would give the Nationals another cog in their attempt to build a front-line rotation, becoming a possible complement to Stephen Strasburg. His fastball tops out around 92 mph, according to reports, and he can complement it with three other pitches.
General manager Mike Rizzo would not confirm the signing. He did, however, talk in general terms about the Nationals' impressions of Maya. Byron Kerr is in Cincinnati, and will have more from Rizzo shortly.
UPDATE AT 11:13 P.M.: Byron Kerr has more about Maya from Rizzo here. In the story, Rizzo says the Nationals have agreed to terms with 32 international players this year. He'd said 31 in his blog post last week. Hmm...