Report: Cubs Sign Cuban RHP Armando Rivero

According to a report from Phil Rogers, the Cubs signed right-handed Cuban pitcher Armando Rivero to a minor league contract. The signing was apparently finalized a couple of months back after the Cubs won his rights in a lower-level bidding war against a few other teams. The signing bonus is unknown at this point.

Armando Rivero was a closer for the Industriales in Havana and a teammate of Gerardo Concepcion. According to Rogers, the Cubs consider Rivero as an advanced prospect and a pitcher that could contribute at the big league level in 2014, if not late this season.

Rivero has reported to Fitch Park and is working out with the other minor league pitchers and catchers.

Updated 10:50pm CSTAccording to a report from Carrie Muskat, the Cubs have not finalized a contract with Armando Rivero.

Due to his age and experience in Cuba, Armando Rivero does not count against the Cubs’ International signing pool.

Phil Rogers reported the Cubs may use him as a starter this season but they feel he profiles as a middle reliever. Baseball America reported scouts do not want to limit him to the bullpen just because he was a reliever in Cuba. Many scouts feel he will end up as a middle reliever but he has the stuff to be a closer.

According to reports from last January, Armando Rivero has a plus-fastball with action and sits in the mid to upper 90s, topping out between 96-98 mph. Rivero throws a two-seam fastball with late drop. The 24-year old, 6-foot-3, right hander also throws a slider or a curve and a splitter, depending on the report.

Baseball America reported “his mechanics have some funkiness in the back with a slight hook, but some scouts say the ball comes out cleanly in the front from a three-quarters arm slot.”

Armando Rivero is represented by the same agency as Jorge Soler.

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  • bpot92

    Neil,

    Just wanted to ask if this guy would be viewed more as a prospect or a player that would come over from Japan (more ready and less time to majors, but possibly less upside).

    P.S.,

    If Facebook is right, then Happy Birthday! Thanks for running this great site!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I think he is a prospect, he is only 24, if the age is
      correct, and should be viewed as a prospect.

      Under the new International signing rules, Cuban players
      with at least six years of experience in Cuba and at least 23 years old is not
      subject to the signing restrictions. So the experience I mentioned is still
      raw.

      And thank you very much …

  • Tom U

    In an interesting twist, Tennessee closer Frank Batista has been added to the Cubs’ spring training squad.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Do we know anything about this guy? Does he project to actually be a starter for us within a year or so?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      From what I read, they are going to use him as a starter this year, to stretch him out. He projects as a middle reliever, but has closer stuff.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Thanks Neil, that is great news! Exactly the type of signing we need to bolster pitching in the system.

        Where would you slide him in our top 20 prospects? Does he make the top 10?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          I would not see him in the top 20 right now based on the limited info that is available and the fact the system has gotten deeper.

  • John_CC

    Sounds like another nice potential arm to add to the stockpile. Good stuff.

    And Happy belated Birthday Neil, mine is the day before yours!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Happy Belated Birthday to you

  • http://www.facebook.com/sylvia.c.martinez.9 Sylvia C Martinez

    This is my cousin my father would be so proud of him. I will be in the crowd cheering him on.

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