Hector Olivera has agreed to a six-year, $62.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers according to MLB.com.
Source: Cuban INF Hector Olivera has agreed to a 6-year, $62.5 million deal with Dodgers. $28MM signing bonus. Check http://t.co/mkcBse7p5iThe infielder will get a $28 million signing bonus once his physical clears.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) March 24, 2015
Olivera was courted by many big league teams including the Yankees. The shortstop hit .341 and had 17 home runs last year in Cuba and looks to be an immediate impact player. Though his decision to don Dodger blue comes to no surprise to many baseball insiders, Olivera still has a couple hurdles to clear before he makes his debut in the majors.
One - Olivera might have issues with his throwing arm that could require Tommy John surgery. This would leave him out for a whole season. Two - he also still needs a visa—which could again hold up his debut in the big leagues.
The Dodgers also have plenty of infield talent. They traded away arguably one of the most promising infielders in Dee Gordon this offseason to get Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins in the middle infield. If Olivera is to see any playing time this year, he will probably split duties with Juan Uribe at third base. But Rollins and Uribe’s contracts are up after the 2015 season which could give way to a permanent home for Oilvera in the infield.
I like the deal because it gives the Dodgers flexibility to make some roster moves down the road. They have a crowded outfield and will need to deal some players (like Andre Ethier) to make room for developing talent. Having another card to add to the deck will only strengthen the Dodgers negotiating position. It’s also a promising sign that the new front office is serious about building a balanced lineup that gives the team the best chance to win a World Series.
Now if we could just get the games on TV.
--Alexis Garcia, BYB's "Eye on MLB" Columnist
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