December 10, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) A 20-year-old Cuban pitcher has agreed to a minor league contract with the Houston Astros that includes a $2 million signing bonus.

The agreement involving left-hander Cionel Perez was announced Friday and is part of the last international signing period without a cap on bonuses. Starting July 2, teams will not be able to exceed set limits each year that start at $4.75 million for bonuses of more than $10,000 for amateurs residing outside the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

Cuban infielder Yuli Gurriel agreed to a $47.5 million, five-year contract with the Astros in July and made his major league debut the following month.

Perez led the Cuba National Series with a 2.06 ERA in 87 1/3 innings and 17 starts for Matanzas in 2014, when he was 7-2 with 75 strikeouts. Overall, he was 10-5 with a 2.20 ERA in 28 starts and two relief appearances in 2013 and `14.

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