Dodgers Interest In Alvarez Very Telling
Apr 1, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Official Major League Baseballs sit ready for the Los Angeles Dodgers to utilize for practice prior to facing the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports
Young talent is good, right? That’s what the GM of the Dodgers, Farhan Zaidi said about Cuban phenom, Yoan Moncada, calling young, elite talent the most valuable asset to have. This is good because the Dodgers have a top 5-10 farm system in baseball based off of 4 really good prospects, top talent is top talent, but the team could use a lot more depth in it’s system. Starting July 2nd, you should expect a serious infusion of talent into the system that could sustain the team for a long time.
First an article:
"Los Angeles, which seems intent on continuing to be a big international player, has extensively scouted Alvarez, with team president Andrew Friedman even traveling to see him in the Dominican Republic, where Alvarez has established residency. The Dodgers signed Cuban third baseman Hector Olivera recently for $62.5 million over six years, and appear to be targeting Alvarez now."
Alvarez is 18 years old, and throws 95 consistently. If a wildly successful team is looking to bypass the draft process while they can, the international arena is where a Red Sox type team could add a top 5 talent for only money, and a 18 year old tossing 95 miles per hour would be a contender for a top 5 slot in this year’s draft.
There is a little quirk though,
"Alvarez, who throws 94-97 mph but has hit 99, is petitioning MLB to allow him to sign in this signing period rather than wait until July 2. There is no word yet on whether Alvarez’s petition will be approved."
In Alvarez’s particular case, he would have to sign after July 2nd for the Dodgers to sign him, Yadier obviously might hold out anyways to get as many teams in his sweepstakes as possible. But there’s a reason that the Dodgers didn’t even offer a bid on Yoan Moncada, they want to go absolutely crazy on the next July 2nd period, Alvarez would easily take them over their 2014 July 2 spending restrictions, to avoid any complications, root for Alvarez’s petition to be denied.
If this happens, the Dodgers become the overwhelming favorite for a 18 year old flamethrower, it’s promising because they’re already the favorites for a 18 year old CF that’s been described as the best prospect in the class.
"CF Starling Heredia may be the top prospect in this class and his price tag is rumored to be around $3.5 million, with multiple scouts mentioning the Cubs as the most interested team, though that isn’t a done deal by any means. Heredia hit some balls out to center field in BP and ran a 6.62 time in the 60, both plus tools to go with his plus bat speed"
And oh by the way, Vladimir Gutierrez is in the same boat as Yadier Alavarez, super talented and petitioning to be able to sign now. Ben Badler has said on occasion that he is the best Cuban pitching prospect available in the next July 2nd period.
These are just some of the names that are expected to be available from the international side of things. Domestically, the Ryan Webb deal is very telling about how the Dodgers want to put young talent in their system. They’re willing to take on an overpaid reliever who might potentially be useful, in exchange for a competitive balance pick (those can be traded) in the 3rd round. The 74th pick isn’t anything special, but it has produced Daniel Norris, Tyler Chatwood, and Jon Jay recently. Using financial muscle, the Dodgers have brought the number of bullets they have int he 2015 draft to 5, the 24th pick, the 35th pick, the 67th pick, the 74th pick, and the 101th pick. In a draft that has been described as very weak, the more bullets a team has, the better chance they develop a major leaguer.
So between the 2015 draft and the Dodgers going completely nuts on the upcoming July 2nd international signing period, there will be a lot of young talent put into the system, add in the fact that the Dodgers can expect to give qualifying offers to at least two of Zack Greinke, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Brett Anderson, and Juan Uribe and the approach is simple, build a sustainable farm system that can be used not only to promote players, but deal from a surplus when the major league team needs a boost.
For all the (justified) cursing directed in the general vicinity of Saint Louis, they have the whole “organization building” idea down pat. The Dodgers want to be the Cardinals and *gulp* that’s probably the best thing for them.