Today is a day of good news for the Dodgers. After receiving word that there was no structural damage to Hyun-jin Ryu‘s shoulder, and then breathing a sigh of relief, we get the news that the Dodgers have reportedly signed the 30-year old Cuban phenom Hector Olivera.
Image from Baseballbronxdaily.com
According to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers signed Olivera to a six-year 62.5 million dollar contract, with a 28 million dollar signing bonus. The deal is pending Olivera passing a physical. Speaking of a physical, Olivera’s health was recently in question. There were rumors that he had torn his UCL, but those appeared to be false. After all, if Olivera had torn his UCL, I don’t think the Dodgers would have ended up signing him. Even if he does need Tommy John surgery, position players need considerably less time to recover. Normally it’s around the 6-8 month time frame.
If you remember reports were surfacing that the Dodgers were in a bidding war with the Padres, and it had come down to the two Southern California clubs in a battle for his services. Of course the Dodgers would win out in this war. As if the Padres could ever outbid the Dodgers. (I just did an Alicia Silverstone clueless as if). I have a smile on my face right now, because this is a huge boon for the Dodgers.
There is some talk about Olivera getting over some kind of blood clot, and only playing at DH since he returned. I think we’ll know more about his health after the results of his physical are made public. However it appears that Oliver should be ready to contribute immediately. According to Heyman he still needs to obtain his visa, and he could need about a month in the minor leagues to prepare, since he’s missed spring training. But get ready folks, we have another Cuban power horse coming to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers don’t have an immediate need for him right now, but I would expect for the club to play him at third base, and eventually ease Juan Uribe into more of a super utility role. Although the Cuban infielder can also play second base as well. This is phenomenal news! The brain trust really scored big on this one. Watch out National League! We’ll have more news on this as it develops.