Hector Olivera

With a Major-League roster that’s been tinkered with throughout the offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers may soon be adding to their collection of talent. They’ve recently been linked to multiple Cuban prospects and a report on Monday has the Dodgers still searching for another relief pitcher.

Yoan Moncada is the most-talented and recognizable name among the Cuban prospects the Dodgers have been tied to, but it may be another infielder who the team signs. According to Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers have strong interest in Hector Olivera:

Separately, major-league sources confirmed to FOX Sports that the Dodgers do, in fact, have strong interest in Olivera, who also is a target of the Oakland Athletics.

According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Olivera is seeking a five or six-year contract comparable to what Rusney Castillo and Yasmany Tomas received:

International sources tell MLB.com the infielder is seeking a five-to-six year deal that rivals the contracts award to Arizona’s Yasmany Tomas (six years, $68.5 million) and Boston’s Rusney Castillo (seven years, $72.5 million).

In February alone, the Dodgers have twice scouted Olivera at an open showcase game in the Dominican Republic during a five-day span. In the second game, Olivera reached base in all five of his plate appearances, including hitting two doubles.

At 29-years-old Olivera isn’t subject to the same international signing rules that the Dodgers would need to abide by if they were to come to terms with the 19-year-old Moncada. In portions of 10 seasons playing for Santiago de Cuba, Olivera is a career .323/.407/.505 with 96 home runs and 433 RBIs.

Olivera’s older age makes him more Major-League ready, which would present an interesting scenario for the Dodgers when considering the contract status of their infielders. While Juan Uribe battled hamstring injuries in 2014, he played well when healthy and is entering the final year of his contract.

Moreover, Howie Kendrick also only has one remaining on his deal. Olivera is capable of playing second and third base, though the Dodgers presumably would be more inclined to re-sign Kendrick, who is younger than Uribe, and place Olivera at third base.

One obstacle to the Dodgers signing the 29 year old is Olivera has yet to be cleared by Major League Baseball, though it’s widely considered nothing more than a formality. Considering the Dodgers can freely sign Olivera once he’s cleared by MLB, it’s conceivable the Dodgers could land both he and Moncada.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

10 Responses

  1. Michael N. Norris

    Figures…the want the oldest guy on the list, but e also comes with no penalty’s. But not for a 5 or 6year deal..

    Reply
    • Matthew Moreno

      If the Dodgers are going to put him at third base then I think four or five years at the right price would be a good deal for them.

      Reply
      • Michael N. Norris

        you could be right, I am just thinking a almost 30 year old, just about the right time for injury worries and all…

      • Matthew Moreno

        Definitely something to consider and Olivera did miss the 2012-2013 season due to injury (blood flow issue in his left biceps).

      • Tmax

        While they have socialized medicine in Cuba I have read it is not up to the standards of the West. I would think whatever his medical issue something like blood clots could be controlled with medication rather easily. It sounds like he is a contact hitter with some power especially gap power. If he is even close to Kendrick they should sign him. If they pick up Olivera and the young Cuban Left Handed Pitcher they have been looking at the club would be in very good shape in 2016-17 and beyond.

      • Michael N. Norris

        think the one you are talking about is a RHP. The 18 year old? and sorry about the old guy crack! LOL

      • Tmax

        Oops you are right he is a rightie. I read it wrong. And hey you are older than me by 3 years so there! It is a good time to have some money with all the Cubans hitting the market. Glad they have good people in the scouting department. The Cubans are being hyped to the limit as usual. If these guys were all that they should have won the League down there every year and they did not.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Hype can be expensive….Look at Guererro and Eri from last year. I always am leery of giving big contracts to guys with little or no time in the bigs.

  2. Jackson Ebner

    His production reminds me of Kendrick, and Kendrick is a known quantity and classy professional you could probably sign for 3 years [yes, Olivera lifetime stats are better, but who knows how that translates to MLB] . Get Moncada, in a year or two you pair him with Seager, and you’ve got super high end youth for years to come, add Joc, Puig, Ariasmania, the price on these 5 guys will be almost nothing for the next 5 years, you’ll have crazy money for other premium parts, that’s the recipe for dynasty.

    Reply

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