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While looking up the news from Baseball America, I came upon a note in their transaction register claiming that the Mariners had signed LHP Roenis Elias. Baseball-Reference turned up bupkes, so I went out searching on my own to see what the deal was.

Here's what I can tell you as of this moment. Elias defected from Cuba around or before October of last year. Near as I can figure, he'd be about twenty-two right now, with the usual caveats regarding Cuban prospects tending to age rapidly and in bursts. When he was in Cuba, he pitched for the Guantanamo team and last season, pitched 63.0 innings with seventy-four hits allowed and a 53/49 K/BB ratio, which would suggest that his command is limited. He reportedly has a beauty of a curveball and good velocity, but he's a little slight and his mechanics leave something to be desired. As for the actual gun readings for him, I've turned up nothing so far, nor do I know which country he established residency in for him to be declared an international free agent.

From what I've read, Elias was well-regarded back on the island. He's not in the same echelon as Chapman (who is?) or even Royals left-hander Noel Arguelles, so second/third tier roughly. How much of that is tied up in his command struggles, I can't say. So what I can provide is that the Mariners have added a left-hander with good stuff and some inconsistencies, and considering that the system's a little thin on LHPs, he's probably a good addition. I'd expect him to turn up somewhere in the short-season leagues in a month or two.