It’s been over one month since the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hector Olivera came to an agreement on a six-year deal, but the infielder has yet to step foot in the United States.
Olivera created a buzz in Major League Baseball in March, drawing interest from a slew of teams before signing with the Dodgers on March 24. However, Olivera has had issues with receiving his visa.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said recently the team is still working through the process for Olivera and Pablo Fernandez:
We are still working, going through the visa process to get the guys over to do a physical and see where we go from there,” Friedman said.
While the process continues to drag out, both Fernandez and Olivera have been working out at the Dodgers’ Las Palmas facility in the Dominican Republic:
Cuban infielder Hector Olivera has been working out at the Dodgers’ Campo Las Palmas facility in the Dominican Republic on a regular basis. Right-hander Pablo Fernandez is also working out at the Dominican academy.
At 30 years old, Olivera is renowned for his bat and his career numbers certainly support that notion. Playing in the Cuban professional league, Olivera below .316 in only one of his 10 seasons. His best season came in 2007 when he hit .353 in 84 games while driving in 45 runs and stealing 21 bases (career high).
Fernandez pitched in the Serie Nacional last season, posting a 2.83 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 57.1 innings while primarily serving as a relief pitcher. However, it’s expected he’ll transition to a starting pitcher once he formally joins the Dodgers’ farm system.
Given Alex Guerrero’s emergence, Justin Turner’s presence on the roster and how long the visa process is taking, it’s unlikely Olivera will spend significant time in the Majors this season as he’d hoped.
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