Reports surfaced on March 7 that the Cubs had signed Cuban free agent RHP Armando Rivero to a minor league contract. But details of the contract were unknown at that point and the club had not acknowledged the signing.
The Cubs posted the signing to the transactions page on Cubs.com on Sunday, and Baseball America released the amount of the signing bonus that Rivero received on Monday.
According to the transactions page, the Cubs signed Armando Rivero on March 5 and the contract included a signing bonus of $3.1 million.
According to Baseball America, the Cubs appear to have had the deal in place with Armando Rivero for months. Ben Badler reported that his International sources said the Cubs were going to sign Rivero last July to the same terms as he reported on Monday.
Rivero is a 25-year old right-handed pitcher that projects as a middle reliever. Rivero has closer stuff and according to Phil Rogers, the Cubs could stretch him out this season and possibly using him as a starter at first before moving him to the bullpen.
Rivero is 6-foot-3, 180 pounds and throws a two-seam fastball that sits in the low-90s and peaks at 96 mph with late drop. Ben Badler reported that he does not have a plus secondary pitch but does throw a solid splitter with late tumble. There are reports that Rivero also throws a slider or a curve to go along with the splitter.
Due to his age and service time in Cuba, Rivero will not count against the Cubs 2012-2013 International bonus pool.
According to Baseball America, Rivero is advanced enough to start the season at the Double-A level but the Cubs have not said where Rivero will begin the year.