has departed from Cuba and is seeking a big league contract,, according to . Baseball America ranks Ruiz the No. 8 prospect overall and the No. 1 pitching prospect in Cuba. The 21-year-old owns a record of 17-11 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.144 WHIP and 164 strikeouts in 42 games (38 starts), totaling 264 innings in two seasons with Cuba’s Serie Nacional.

“Ruiz stands out in a country thin on major league pitching prospects, with good pitchability and average to above-average stuff across the board. He sits at 89-92 mph and touches 94 with good armside run and sink,” writes .

Badler says the Los Angeles Angels,, Arizona Diamondbacks,, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are already out of the running for Ruiz because they’ve reached the maximum penalty territory for their 2014-2015 international bonus pools. As a result, these clubs cannot sign pool-eligible players that command more than $300,000.

A number of teams were in the hunt for Cuban prospect pitcher Yoan Lopez during the offseason before he landed with the Diamondbacks, including the Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres,, so perhaps the Dodgers and Padres could be vying for his services.

“At 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Ruiz doesn’t have big size but he has been one of the best starting pitchers in Cuba since winning Serie Nacional rookie of the year honors during the 2012-13 season,,” adds Badler. “His fastball sits at 89-92 mph and touches 94 mph with good life. He throws a slider,, changeup and a splitter,, with his plus changeup his most advanced secondary weapon. He flashes an above-average slider at times too, though that pitch can flatten out on him at times.”

It should take some time before Ruiz receives clearance from the U,, Office of Foreign Assets Control and before the MLB declares him a free agent. We’ll be keeping updates on the prospect in the near future,

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