According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, right-handed pitcher Dalier Hinojosa out of Cuba has been cleared by the U.S. government, and can now sign on with a Major League team. Sanchez names the Red Sox along with the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees as possible suitors.
While he will be entering fresh into the league, since he's had three years of professional experience in Cuba the 27-year-old Hinojosa will not be subject to the typical restrictions on international free agents. Any contract he signs will be independent of the team's international bonus pool, which is why you see all the big-market clubs listed above.
Hinojosa, who produced a 3.40 ERA in 121 innings of work in 2012 for Guantanamo with an 8.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9, has a fastball that sits in the low-mid 90s, and mixes in a wide repertoire of secondary offerings. He's had sustained success since 2009, although the numbers are not exactly eye-popping when you consider the difficulty of the league. He also seems to have a penchant for throwing shortened perfect games in international competition.
It's not entirely clear how much it would cost to sign Hinojosa, but if the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox are involved, you can expect he's going to carry a very real price tag. And, with the successes of Yoenis Cespedes and Yasel Puig so fresh, it's possible general managers will be less and less wary to invest big dollars in interesting talent. Hopefully the Sox will recognize that this is one of the last markets where they can splash their cash so freely for young talent, but also don't allow themselves to be caught up in a wave should other teams prove willing to go too far based on previous successes.