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Teams lining up to watch Cuban pitcher who may get $60 million

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

Plenty of people in baseball scoffed when the Dodgers gave Yasiel Puig $42 million without seeing him play in a game. No one is scoffing now.

And the next Cuban contract could be for even more money.

More scouts are due in Tijuana, Mexico, on Friday to watch Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a 26-year-old right-hander who is expected to sign soon. The word in the scouting community is that he could command as much as $60 million over five years.

The Los Angeles Times reported the Dodgers sent three top scouts to watch Gonzalez, but many other teams also attended a showcase last week. One scout who was there told CBSSports.com's Scott Miller that about 60 scouts watched Gonzalez at that showcase.

The Red Sox alone sent eight scouts to evaluate Gonzalez, including general manager Ben Cherington. MLB.com reported the Rangers, Red Sox and Cubs all have serious interest in Gonzalez, but virtually every team in the game was represented at last week's showcase.

"He's a real talent," one scout told Miller. "He had some bone spurs, and he's still building up, but his stuff is top shelf. He threw it over the plate, and he can make it move. He's really good.

"He's like a classic Cuban guy in that he toys with all [his pitches]. He throws a curve that's bigger, he makes it go wide, he throws it straight down . . . it's like 10 different pitches. And he throws them all over the plate."

Gonzalez threw his fastball mostly at 94-95 mph, but he touched 96. He also throws a cutter, the many curves and a changeup.

Gonzalez is especially attractive because he's old enough that money spent to sign him won't count against a team's limited pool for international signings.

 
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