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Lefty Cuban Veteran Elier Sánchez Signed to Minor League Deal

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More minor league depth comes in the form of a big 29-year-old lefty with filthy breaking stuff.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Elier Sánchez most recently pitched in the Dominican Winter League during the 2015 season, after establishing residency and gaining eligibility to play professional baseball under MLB rules.  Now he'll be playing for the Padres organization.   Today the Padres announced his signing to a minor league contract, without an invitation to spring training.

As Jeff Sanders described in his U-T article, along with the Corey Brock article linked above, Sanchez sits in the low 90's with his fastball while delivering a variety of breaking balls from several arm slots.  His curveball draws particularly high praise.  Does that sound like another Cuban pitcher we knew recently?  Unlike Odrisamer Despaigne, Sanchez throws from the left side.  He's worked as a starter exclusively through his career.  Back in 2007, he cracked the Top 100 Prospects lists.  With extensive experience in international competition, Sanchez won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics with the Cuban national team.  There isn't much data from the last few years to rely upon, but the Padres scouting group must see some things they like.  It's most likely that he will start the season in double-A or triple-A, but if he acclimates to the US culture and game quickly, we might see him with the big league club in 2016.