PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Cuban left-hander Osvaldo Hernandez has agreed to a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres with a $2.5 million signing bonus.
The 18-year-old had a 0.92 ERA in 68 2/3 innings in Cuba's under-18 league last year, striking out 84 and walking 23. At the U-18 Pan American championship last Oxtober, he allowed three runs and five hits over 9 2/3 innings in two appearances against the U.S.
He's a 5-foot-10 left-hander, but it's really good delivery, good arm action. He's a strike-thrower. His velocity kept increasing from when we've seen him over the last five or six months,'' Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. ''We do see him as a starting pitching option. When he's able to come to the States and come into the country and pitch, he'd be a guy that we'd be looking to move through the system and see where he stacks up.''
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Preller said he hopes Hernandez can start pitching in the minors by early June. His signing bonus is payable upon approval of the contract by the commissioner's office.