According to Baseball America, the Cubs recently signed pitcher “Yoanner Negrin,” but some Googlestalking suggests that his name is actually Yoannis Negrin. He’s a (maybe) 27-year old righty who has pitched in the Cuban professional baseball league for Matanzas for a number of years.
As of 2008, he was regarded as “the Matanzas staff ace[, who] won 11 games two seasons ago and tossed five complete games while logging 125 2/3 innings.” The following season, it appears he was converted to a reliever, and struggled with a 4.91 ERA in just 36.2 innings. Negrin defected to the Dominican Republic thereafter with the help of his agent, Carlos Perez (who also helped recent Cubs prospect signee, catcher Yaniel Cabeza, defect at the same time), and, to be frank, I’m not quite sure what he’s been doing since then.
According to a December 2009 interview with Negrin’s agent (wow, talk about a double caveat), the pitcher “can throw 90 MPH consistently with his fastball and can reach as high as 94 MPH. Negrin throws four seamers, sliders, changeups, curveball and two seamers.” Odds are good that Negrin will be organizational filler in the upper levels of the minor leagues, with an outside chance of contributing in the big league pen some day down the road.
No terms have yet been disclosed.