Let's just sign all the Cuban infielders!
Word has come down the pike, originally via a tweet from Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com, that the Dodgers have nabbed soon-to-be 30-year old Hector Olivera.
Source: Cuban INF Hector Olivera has agreed to a 6-year, $62.5 million deal with Dodgers. $28MM signing bonus. Check http://t.co/mkcBse7p5i
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) March 24, 2015
Oh, boy! Maybe we shouldn't be so angry about the Time Warner deal. After all, could the Dodgers throw money around like this if they hadn't signed that $8Billion contract?
There's still some uncertainty about when he'll be ready to contribute to the Dodgers. He requires a visa to come over to the states, and I suspect he'll need some time in the minors before being ready. Heck, maybe he spends the entire season in AAA - just like his countrymen. As for the past reports about a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm, I hope they prove false. BTW, this deal has not yet been confirmed by the Dodgers.
Clearly, this signing is all about shoring up the infield beyond this season. Uribe, Rollins, Kendricks, Barney and Turner are free agents after 2015. And the Dodgers now have Corey Seager, Kike Hernandez, Alex Guerrero, Arruebarrena, Darnell Sweeney and now Olivera in the mix going forward. Olivera is purported to be better suited for third base, so imagine that's were we should expect to see him.
Below are a bunch of links about Olivera:
- Via Kiley McDaniel at FanGraphs, "The Complications of Hector Olivera."
- Via Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest, "Get to know this year’s foreign imports: Hector Olivera."
- Ben Badler at Baseball America, "Hector Olivera Showcase Report."
In celebration of Olivera's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him. I grabbed a photo from Bronx Baseball Daily and used the 1962 Topps Baseball card design.
Below are the career stats in Cuba for Hector Olivera, via Baseball-Reference:
And here are some videos:
This is a video from a open workout for scouts in early February, via FanGraphs.
Here is another showcase video - with really bad music.
Here's an overview of the deal by Matt Snyder at CBS Sports.
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