AP Sources: D-Backs, Cuban pitcher Yoan Lopez agree to deal

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a contract with Cuban pitcher Yoan Lopez that includes an $8.27 million signing bonus, two people with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday.

A hard-throwing 21-year-old right-hander, Lopez is expected to begin his Diamondbacks career in the minor leagues.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced.

The agreement Tuesday, which is pending a physical, is the largest for a young player who resides outside the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and subject to a team's international signing pool under baseball's collective bargaining agreement. Lopez counts toward a club's signing pool because he is under 23 and has played professionally less than five years in a Cuban professional league.

Because Arizona would exceed its pool of $2,316,600 by 15 percent or more for the one-year period ending July 1, the Diamondbacks would incur a 100 percent tax on the overage and be barred for the next two signing periods from adding an international player subject to the pool with a bonus over $300,000.

The Yankees, Boston, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles Angels already have gone over their pools by 15 percent or more. The Angels and 20-year-old Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin finalized an agreement Jan. 6 for an $8 million signing bonus.

Arizona agreed in December to a $68.5 million, six-year contact with 24-year-old Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas.