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Cuban defector Gonzalez could sign next week

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The agent for Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez told ESPN Deportes that the right-handed pitcher expects to sign with a major league team next week.

The Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams reportedly interested in Gonzalez.

However, the Marlins and Twins are not among the favorites to sign him because of his expected high salary demands.

"I do not think it will happen this weekend," said Gonzalez's agent, Jaime Torres. "But, fortunately, I hope to have an agreement for next week. While the more interested clubs are making their last internal consultations, we are working on the visa process that (Gonzalez) will need to come to the United States."

Gonzalez, 26, left Cuba earlier this year and has been living in Mexico. More than 60 major league scouts came out to watch him try out in Tijuana.

Gonzalez was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball in June. Cuban players who are at least 23 years old and have played at least three seasons professionally are exempted from the league's new international signing guidelines, meaning Gonzalez could pitch for a major league team later this season.

"(Gonzalez) could help a team this season," Torres said. "(He would) only need to go to the minor leagues a couple of weeks and make a few (starts) before debuting in the major leagues. Some of the clubs more interested were evaluating him for a long time, way before he came out of Cuba."
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