Moreno cracked a couple of our Top 100 Prospects lists back when he appeared to be the Royals’ closer of the future. But his capsule in our ’01 Prospect Handbook seems ominous in retrospect: “The Royals might not have had to turn to Ricky Bottalico and Jerry Spradlin as closers if Moreno hadn’t been hurt.” Moreno missed all of the ’00 season and never would get a chance to pitch for the Royals from that point forward. He saw any amount of big league time only once, with the Mets in ’04, when he appeared in 33 games, struck out 7.5 per nine innings and didn’t allow a home run. He pitched in 14 games for Triple-A Memphis in ’06 and in 34 games in the Mexican League last season, but that’s the whole of his pro experience in the past five years. Well, that’s not entirely true. Moreno, 32, has pitched for his local Caracas club in the Venezuelan League in each of the past four winters, pitching very well each time.
Moreno was signed on February 11.