Hector Mendoza and Cardinals Reach Terms

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Jose Garcia of Cuba(C)is congratulated by teammates Yorbis Borroto(L)and Hector Mendoza after hitting a ninth inning home run in the Men's Baseball bronze medal game at the Pan American Games July 19, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. AFP PHOTO/KEVIN VAN PAASSEN (Photo credit should read KEVIN VAN PAASSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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.

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.

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