Braves sign Cuban reliever Portuondo

Righty boosts organizational depth, likely to start season in Minors

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As a result of their aggressive pursuit of talent on the international market, the Braves enhanced their organizational pitching depth with the addition of Carlos Manuel Portuondo, a 28-year-old Cuban reliever.

A Major League source confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the Braves signed Portuondo for $990,000. The 28-year-old right-handed reliever recently drew the attention of Atlanta's international scouting guru Gordon Blakeley.

Portuondo produced a 5.75 ERA in 355 1/3 innings from 2005-13 in Cuba's Serie Nacional. He has only made 19 appearances since the outset of 2012. The Braves recently saw him pitch in the Dominican Republic.

While there is a chance Portuondo could rise to the Major League level at some point this year, the Braves will likely first have him to pitch for either Double-A Mississippi or Triple-A Gwinnett.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.