HOUSTON -- The Astros have voided a deal with Cuban pitching prospect Cionel Perez, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez Wednesday. Perez was set to be introduced to the media in Houston last week before the deal was voided due to an issue related to his physical.
In September, the Astros agreed to a deal worth $5.15 million with the left-hander, which was the largest contract awarded to an international amateur prospect under the international signing guidelines in franchise history. The Astros, who haven't commented on Perez, could still work out another deal with him.
Perez ranked No. 4 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list and entered the Astros' Top 30 list at No. 13 when he signed with Houston after being declared a free agent in September. His fastball sits between 92-95 mph, and some project he could eventually hover between 94-97. He also throws a slider and changeup. He has the projected ceiling of a mid-rotation starter and floor of a hard-throwing reliever.
Not including Perez, the Astros have signed 19 prospects for an estimated $6.8 million, and they are subject to the maximum penalty because they have exceeded their pool total -- $2,197,000 -- by more than 15 percent. The club will have to pay a 100-percent tax on the overage and will not be able to sign an international prospect under the international signing guidelines for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, 2017 and '18.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.