Despite reports consistently tying them to Cuban prodigy Yoan Moncada, the Los Angeles Dodgers opted against signing the talented 19-year-old and being subject to international signing penalties.
To date, their lone expected international signing is right-hander Pablo Millan Fernandez. However, the Dodgers continue to be mentioned in the Hector Olivera sweepstakes. With a decision expected soon, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Dodgers and Padres are actively bidding on the Cuban infielder:
With a decision looming, at least the Padres and Dodgers are still believed to be actively involved in bidding for star Cuban free agent Hector Olivera, according to people familiar with the talks.
Olivera’s path to free agency wasn’t easy and his path as a free agent has been filled with multiple twists. The Dodgers are rumored to have offered Olivera a contract worth $77 million just under two weeks ago. However if true, it’s certainly fair to question why Olivera would’ve turned it down.
Said offer came in the midst of rumors Olivera required Tommy John surgery to repair the UCL in his right elbow, which his representatives have denied to be true. It was also reported the Dodgers’ request for Olivera to undergo a second MRI was denied.
The 29-year-old missed the 2012 and most of the 2013 season due to thrombosis in his left bicep. He only played in four games in 2013, and did not play in 2014. A big draw for Olivera is his bat. More specifically for the Dodgers,
Although Olivera’s had injury trouble, he only ended one of his 10 seasons in Cuba with a batting average under .300, at .262 in 2005. He has also never ended a season with an on-base percentage lower than .351.
At 29 years old and having more than five years of experience in a Cuban professional league, Olivera is not tied to the same signing penalties Moncada was if a team goes over their allotted signing bonus money — 100 percent penalty tax and limited spending power over the next two signing periods.
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