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Tampa Bay Rays Make an International Splash With Gaston

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HAVANA, CUBA - MARCH 22: Grounds keepers prepare the field at the Estadio Latinoamericano before an exposition baseball game between the Cuban national baseball team and the Major League Baseball team Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Estado Latinoamericano March 22, 2016 in Havana, Cuba. Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama attended the game, the first time a sittng president has visited Cuba in 88 years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
HAVANA, CUBA - MARCH 22: Grounds keepers prepare the field at the Estadio Latinoamericano before an exposition baseball game between the Cuban national baseball team and the Major League Baseball team Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Estado Latinoamericano March 22, 2016 in Havana, Cuba. Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama attended the game, the first time a sittng president has visited Cuba in 88 years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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The Tampa Bay Rays appear to have a deal in place for Cuban pitching prospect Sandy Gaston. 

According to Jesse Chavez of MLB Network, the Tampa Bay Rays are in place to sign right-handed pitching prospect, Sandy Gaston. The sixteen year old product of Cuba is in line to receive a 2.6 million dollar signing bonus from the Rays.

Prior to the signing, the Rays had over 3.6 million left to sign international free agents. After winning the battle with the divisional foe Baltimore Orioles to sign Sandy Gaston, the Rays are left with roughly 1 million to make additional signings overseas.

Gaston features a three pitch mix which includes a fastball, changeup, and a slider. The 6’0″ tall 175 pound right hander employs an effortless delivery that results in a fastball exploding out of his hand jumping on batters.

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Experts believe that his secondary pitches will vastly improve once he enters a team’s system. His fastball sits around 94 and has touched 97. The command of this fastball is a concern for scouts and they are unsure if he will really ever be able to control it. The other question surrounding Gaston is whether or not he will develop as a starter or reliever and his ability to develop control of his fastball will be a deciding factor.

The Tampa Bay Rays have done very well in the recent past, signing international prospects such as Wander Franco and Jesus Sanchez. Pitchers such as Yonny Chirinos, Jose Alvarado, and Diego Castillo all signed internationally with the Rays and made an impact on the mound this year in Tampa Bay.

The future is bright in Tampa Bay and it just got even brighter with the signing of Sandy Gaston.

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