The Houston Astros officially signed Cuban utilityman Luis Jesús Quesada on Monday, per Francys Romero, who reported an agreement Jan. 13. Quesada reportedly agreed to a $12,500 signing bonus, draining the rest of the Astros’ international signing pool.
Houston expanded its Cuban representation to 22 players in the organization — the most in Major League Baseball — with the addition of Quesada, bringing the the 2023 signing class to 16. The organization assigned Quesada to the Dominican Summer League Astros Blue.
The Astros also signed 20-year-old right-handed pitcher pitcher Cristian De La Cruz to a minor-league contract Monday. Houston assigned the Pimentel, Dominican Republic native to the DSL Astros Blue.
Gaston Invited Early to Minor-League Spring Training
Catcher Sandro Gaston tore the cover off the ball in his first season in the DSL. The righty slashed .319/.420/.688 in 47 games, clubbing 12 home runs and 14 doubles. Everything clicked offensively for the prospect dubbed “El Tanke,” opening an invitation stateside to minor-league spring training.
There were early worries if Gaston would acquire a visa in time to make the jump, but he’s now been in West Palm Beach, Florida, for about a month. The 20-year-old backstop will likely begin the 2023 season in the Florida Complex League.
“Gaston got up here on the early side, so (it) was nice to get working with him from the get go,” said Andrew Cresci, a hitting coach in the FCL.
Three 2023 Signees Assigned to the DSL Astros Blue
Houston assigned three other 2023 international signees to the DSL Astros Blue last month. Catcher Francisco Caldera, outfielder Ariel Lebron and right-handed pitcher Eudy Liriano will join fellow signees under manager Marcelo Alfonsin.
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