Baseball America's Ben Badler reported that the Pirates signed 20 year old Cuban RHP Cesar Lopez in September for $600K. The delay in completing the deal is the wait for his visa, which often requires quite a bit of hoop-jumping for Cuban nationals.
He's said to have a low-nineties heater with two other pitches, a change and slider. And for the money they're offering, the FO must believe he knows how to throw those three pitches. If he ends up a bookend to Luis Heredia, it's been a very good year for Latino signings.
The last Cuban that the Pirates signed was RHP Yoslan Herrera in 2007 for $750K. He spent last year pitching AAA ball for the Twins, and none too well, may we add, so the Cuban pedigree isn't always all that.
We should find out soon enough. At his age, Lopez should start pitching in the US at one of the A level teams as soon as his visa problems are ironed out.
(Badler's article is behind a subscription wall; we found out about the signing from Tim Williams of Pirate Prospects.)
Also in Latino news, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports that "The Pirates have reportedly signed right-hander Leandro Rodriguez out of the Dominican Prospect League, according to the DPL website.
The site describes the 17-year-old Rodriguez as having a "loose" arm and said the Pirates signed him for $80,000. The club has not announced the signing."