If there’s one accusation that can’t be heaped on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ revamped front office is them being afraid to take risks and make bold moves. Their most recent transactions were making official the signings of Cubans Pablo Fernandez and Hector Olivera, both of whom may reach the Majors this season.
While the Dodgers added the two international signings to the fold, it may pale in comparison to what’s expected come the next signing period that begins July 2. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, their haul may include Cuban right-hander Norge Ruiz:
With Dodgers' plan to smash through their int' bonus pool with a deal for Cuban Yadier Alvarez, they are the early favorites for Norge Ruiz.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 22, 2015
In two season in the Cuban League, Ruiz posted an ERA of 2.25 in 28 starts. Perhaps the only blemish on his résumé would be the 87 walks he handed out. Averaging roughly three walks per nine innings, control seems to be the 21-year-old’s only issue.
This signing would help the Dodgers immensely, as Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy will both miss all of the 2015 season. Although Ruiz certainly wouldn not go straight to the Majors upon signing, the Dodgers would add another pitcher to their farm system, making it easier for another to be called up if necessary, or making a trade a more viable option.
The Dodgers of course are no strangers to Cuban talent. The current roster boasts Yasmani Grandal, Alex Guerrero and Yasiel Puig. However, the Dodgers also ran into some recent trouble with Erisbel Arruebarrena, another Cuban native, as he was suspended for the remainder of the season after not having played a game at any level.
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