Rizzo would not confirm nor deny report on Maya

General manager Mike Rizzo would not confirm nor deny an ESPN Deportes report that the Nats have agreed to terms with right-hander Yuniesky Maya, who is from Cuba.

However, Rizzo raved about Maya, 28. Rizzo believes Maya could by in a Major League rotation sometime this year. Maya’s fastball has been clocked as high as 94 miles per hour. He also can throw a slider, curveball and changeup.

“He is battled tested and is seasoned,” Rizzo said. “We have seen him play in many tournaments over the years, so we feel we know him as well as anybody. He is a guy who has pitched a lot and knows his craft.

“If we get him, we have to see where he is at. We have seen him pitch quite a bit in the Dominican. We had guys monitoring quite closely. It will be like any new pitcher we acquire. He goes to Viera Fla., [the team’s Spring Training complex] and we see where he is at.”

Maya played for the Cuban national baseball team and was a member of Cuban team during the 2006 and ’09 World Baseball Classic. In six Cuban National Series Seasons, Maya was 48-29 with 2.51 ERA.

“We know a lot about Maya. He is a young, poised, Major League-caliber pitcher,” Rizzo said. “He was the No 1 pitcher on a very success Cuban National team. There are a lot of teams that are on him. Some of the successful organizations would like to sign him and put him directly in the rotation and we are one of them.”

Maya left Cuba and is currently living in the Dominican Republic. While living in the Dominican, he has been working out and pitching in simulated games.
 

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