Yuniesky Maya – does that name ring a bell? A little while back in the offseason, the Mets were looking to sign this guy, but there were a few problems with his Visa and that held him back. But there’s good news on that front, reported here :
Enrique Rojas of ESPN.com says free-agent Cuban RHP Yuniesky Maya is finally free to sign a contract with a Major League team. (Link is in Spanish.)
The 28-year old Cuban defector is now free to sign with any MLB team of his choosing. Rojas lists the Mets, Phillies and Yankees among six teams who have shown interest in Maya. Maya was an interesting option in the off season because his agent claims he should be a starter right now, because he is in his prime and has good stuff. Here’s a quick scouting report –
In December last year, Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com quoted a scout who watched Maya as saying he threw in the 88–92 mph range, while sporting a fastball, two-seamer, a slider, curveball and a changeup.
In addition to that, Maya has offered his own take on things.
Maya told Terreno de Pelota’s Uziel Gomez last September he alternates between a 94-mile-an-hour heater, slider, change-up, curve, and sinker, a repertoire which scouts backed up after seeing Maya in action at a workout late last year.
The Mets have passed on Japanese starters Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa (I’m glad on that one.) and also have passed on Aroldis Chapman, the left handed flamethrower. I think it’s time the Mets shell out the cash and pay for this kid. He’s 28, so it’s still affordable to send him to the minors for a year.
However, some people have noted that Maya is advanced for his age and may be able to pitch for an MLB team sooner rather than later, Maya’s agent included. I’d love to jump on this bandwagon, but I have to see more of him first. The video I’ve seen from him pitching for Cuba isn’t too bad at all.
No matter if Maya is able to step up this season or he’ll have to stick in the minors for a year, the Mets need to go after him. The possibility of adding a pitcher who would be able to start in AAA (from the scouting report) is very appealing, and the Mets should have the cash to do it. The best case scenario would be Maya is MLB ready, and he ends up in the Mets rotation sooner rather than later, and he’d be a nice shot in arm as an alternative to trading prospects.
What do you think?