From the Wire … Cubs Sign Juan Carlos Paniagua

According to a report from Baseball America, the Cubs signed right-handed pitcher Juan Carlos Paniagua for $1.5 million. The signing of the 22-year old Dominican right-hander will count against the Cubs’ international free agent pool of $2.9 million for the 2012-2013 signing period once the deal becomes official. The Cubs’ signed 16-year old Dominican shortstop Frandy De La Rosa on July 2 for $700,000.

Juan Carlos Paniagua has actually signed with two other teams in the past and both contracts were voided. As with the case with any international signing, a background investigation will be required and Major League Baseball will have to approve the signing.

Paniagua signed with the Diamondbacks in May of 2009 under the name Juan Carlos Collado for $17,000. The deal was terminated due to fraudulent paperwork and he was not eligible to sign with another team for one year.

Paniagua signed a $1.1 million contract with the New York Yankees in 2011. Paniagua’s velocity increased during his time off (fastball increased from 92 mph to 98 mph) and his price increased but the contract Paniagua signed with the Yankees was also terminated due to “falsified documents” according to Baseball America.

Juan Carlos Paniagua has not shown the same velocity he did prior to signing with the Yankees. Paniagua’s fastball now sits in the mid-90s (93-95) to go along with an 81-84 mph slider and a changeup. According to Baseball America, Paniagua’s slider has shown improvement from what was once thought to be a slurvy pitch. Paniagua also throws a curveball but has had command and pitchability issues in the past.

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