The Dodgers didn’t quite throw around as much cash this offseason as they did the last couple of years (though they did make a large number of trades), but with a new brain trust in tow, you knew it wouldn’t be long before the new guys got into using the comically large wallet. (And just wait until next offseason’s huge free agent class …. )
For today, it’s Cuban infielder Hector Olivera who signs with the Dodgers:
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
Olivera, who turns 30 in ten days, is quite an enigma. He might be an offensive superstar. He might have a bum elbow. He might have a new agent by the time I finish typing this sentence.
Although there were reports that Olivera was going to need Tommy John surgery before he could play, his camp denied those rumors, and maybe he will indeed be ready to go this year. If so, the Dodgers will, you know, have to figure out where to play him. The club has Howie Kendrick at second base and Juan Uribe at third, at least for 2015. Believe it or not, Uribe is still pretty damn good (5.0 and 3.6 WAR the last two years). Plus, they’ve got Justin Turner and Darwin Barney just behind those two, and they’ve got previous Cuban signees Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena to find homes for, as well. The latter might be a sunk cost at this point, but Guerrero still has offensive upside, and doesn’t have to accept an option to the minors this year. It’s a full house.
After 2015, the problem solves itself, and, if Olivera is good (that’s a huge chunk of money the Dodgers just gave him), there won’t be any issue accommodating him, and possibly stud shortstop prospect Corey Seager at the same time. Man, the Dodgers are going to be really good for a long time, aren’t they?
In any case, I’ll be very interested to see what comes next for the Dodgers, and how they decide to play Olivera – again, some believe he’s going to be very good with the bat. Just what the Dodgers need.
But they’ve got money to burn, and this seems like as good a way as any to roll their expensive, but seemingly unending supply of dice.