The St. Louis Cardinals have announced they reached terms with hard-throwing 23-year-old Cuban Right-Hander Hector Mendoza.
Hector Mendoza and Cardinals Reach Terms
Standing at 6’3″ and 195 lbs, he’s a low-90s fastball pitcher with good command of the zone. His curve is rated at solid-plus and, at last examination by BA’s Ben Badler, he was developing a change-up. He has five partial seasons of foreign league professional baseball under his belt, but he has not seen a full season since his 2013-14 campaign with Isla de la Juventud of the Cuban National Series. In 2013, he posted a 2.36 ERA over 49.2 innings with a K/BB ratio of 1.29. In the three seasons since, he has logged 14.2 innings of playing time across 12 games that Baseball-Reference.com has stats for.
The #STLCards have agreed to terms with Hector Mendoza, right-handed pitcher from Cuba.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 7, 2017
Minor League Deal
Mendoza accepted a minor league deal, as reported by Jesse Sanchez via Twitter earlier today. The former Yomiuri Giant will receive $500,000 in his new contract. He is exempt from the bonus pool luxury tax, as he is considered a professional due to some interesting mathematics by the Commissioner’s office.
.@Cardinals deal with Hector Mendoza, right-handed pitcher from Cuba, is for $500K.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) June 7, 2017
Free Agency Waiver and Path to MLB
Major League Baseball gave Mendoza a waver for typical free-agency rules, allowing him to be signed outside of the bonus pool exception. The righty spent last season in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Yomiuri Giants. The exemption gave him further credit for two partial seasons in which Cuba loaned him to Yomiuri, plus being on the Cuban roster for 2015-16. However, Mendoza has not been part of a full campaign since 2014-15, so his readiness and reliability is currently unknown. Given the Cardinals bullpen woes, they may give him a short tune up with Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, and hurry him to the show.