Houston Astros sign Cuban RHP Carlos Sierra
By Cody Poage
Even on Christmas Eve, the Houston Astros are still making moves.
The team reportedly have a deal in place to sign Cuban pitcher Carlos Sierra, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Interestingly enough, Sierra comes to the Houston Astros all the way from the Canary Islands off of Africa, even though he is originally from Cuba. Per Sanchez, Sierra left Cuba legally in February due to his grandfather’s roots in Spain and was granted citizenship from the country.
The 20-year old right-hander is pitching in the top baseball league in Spain, Division de Honor de Beisbol for the Tenerife Marlins. Sierra brings an interesting skill set to the Astros organization as he reportedly can throw from three different arm angles. He utilizes a 90+ MPH fastball, slider, curve, and circle change.
Per the MLB.com report from Sanchez, it appears that the Astros will have to wait to sign Sierra due to international guidelines based on his age. While they could sign him during the current international signing period, the team may have to wait until the next one that starts on July 2nd.
However, adding Sierra is not considered a major pickup for the Astros, per Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
This shouldn’t be surprising when considering that Sierra wasn’t rumored to be one of the top international talents available. But like I stated previously, Sierra does bring another interesting pitching prospect to Houston’s system. Three different arm angles is quite the feat. I am curious to see how it translates to the United States.
Next: Billy Wagner on his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame (interview)
This may not have been the Christmas gift that Astros fans were wanting, but if Jeff Luhnow and the front office see potential in him, then I am willing to give him a shot.