The Blue Jays have agreed to a multiyear deal with Cuban right-hander Yariel Rodríguez, according to a report by MLB Network Insider Jon Morosi.
Rodríguez, 27, was one name that was extremely sought after in free agency. After his strong 2022 in the NPB as well as his performance in this past year's World Baseball Classic for Team Cuba, Rodríguez gets his chance in Major League Baseball.
Rodríguez started his career as a starter before making the full transition to the bullpen, providing Toronto with a swingman type pitcher. In 2022 when Rodríguez pitched for the Chunichi Dragons of the NPB, he posted an outstanding 1.15 ERA across 54.1 innings.
His high upside in Japan doesn't paint the full picture for Rodríguez. During the 2023 World Baseball Classic, he pitched to a 2.45 ERA over his two starts.
Taking a in depth approach to his pitch arsenal gives a better idea of what kind of pitcher Rodríguez is.
Fastball — 96.2 MPH, 2586 RPM
Slider - 84.9 MPH, 2905 RPM
Curveball - 76.7 MPH, 2714 RPM
Splitter - 88.9 MPH, 1704 RPM
Changeup — 86.2 MPH, 1664 RPM
Stats via BlueJays Muse (X)
Yariel Rodríguez is an outstanding pitcher and there is no denying that. However, Rodríguez has not pitched since his appearances in the World Baseball Classic, as he decided to chase MLB free agency before returning to the NPB.