Cuban pitcher Siverio signs Minor League deal

Misael Siverio, a 25-year-old left-hander from Cuba, has signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners.

Siverio pitched last season in Mexico after defecting from Cuba, taking something of a similar path to Roenis Elias, who had a breakout season for the Mariners last year as a 25-year-old rookie southpaw following three seasons in Seattle’s Minor League system after going from Cuba to Mexico.

“This is a proud moment for me, to be able to join the Seattle Mariners, who have various Cubans in the organization that are my compatriots,” Siverio said in a statement on the team’s blog, which also includes photos and a video. “I feel very happy because of the way that I have been treated here in Seattle and now the only thing left to do is to do my part, work hard and reach the Major Leagues.”

Siverio took a physical exam with the Mariners in Seattle earlier this month and toured the team’s facilities. He will take part in the Mariners’ Minor League mini-camp in Peoria, Ariz., in mid-February, which is designed for prospects who aren’t part of the Major League camp.

The 5-foot-9 Siverio pitched 153 games (75 starts) with a 3.24 ERA from 2007-12 with Villa Clara in Cuba’s National Series, the country’s primary amateur league, then had a 2.45 ERA for Aguilas de Mexicali in the Mexican Pacific League last winter with a 3-1 record, 36 strikeouts and 10 walks in 29 1/3 innings over six starts.

Siverio defected from the Cuban National team in 2013 when the squad was in the United States playing against a college All-Star team in Des Moines, Iowa.

Siverio pitched in front of scouts for about 10 Major League teams at a showcase tryout in June and is one of several Cuban players who’ve drawn interest this offseason.

The biggest name among the Cuban prospects is outfielder Yasmany Tomas, who is drawing high interest from a number of clubs, including the Mariners.

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