Dodgers Reportedly Sign Cuban RHP Yaisel Sierra

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Jan 7, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reacts during press conference at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reacts during press conference at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers have reportedly signed Cuban pitcher Yaisel Sierra.

See? Told you guys the Dodgers weren’t done making moves.

According to multiple reports, the Dodgers are close on a deal with Yaisel Sierra, a right handed Cuban pitcher. His exact date of birth isn’t on Baseball Reference, but it does say he was born in 1991. So he is either 25 or will be 25 at some point this year.

MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweeted that the Dodgers were the frontrunner, but the Marlins and Cubs were still in the running. CBS’s Jon Heyman tweeted the deal was done, and it was later confirmed by Sanchez, who is the go-to on all Latin baseball news.

Sierra is older than 23 and played five or more seasons in the Cuban National Series, so he is not subject to the international signing restrictions. The Dodgers have already broken their international spending limit, locking them out of signing players for more than $300,000 in the next two signing periods. Since the limit has already been broken, the Dodgers can almost freely spend until June 15, with the only fallback being a 100 percent tax on every dollar they spend over the initial bonus pool, which according to True Blue LA was only $700,000.  Sierra’s reported ~$30M won’t be taxed because of his service time and age.

Sierra gives the Dodgers another young(ish), team controlled arm. He has upside, with a fastball that tops out at 97 and a + slider that dives away from righties. His stats in CNS aren’t very promising, as he owns a career 4.23 ERA in 131 appearances and has 166 walks in 300 career innings.

The capacity in which Sierra will be used remains to be seen. According to Dylan Hernandez, the Dodgers plan to develop Sierra as a starter, but could use him as a reliever depending on their needs. As I wrote yesterday, they have their rotation pretty much locked down, but could still use a bullpen arm or two. Whether Sierra will be that arm remains to be seen.

In Cuba, Sierra only started 25 games scattered over three years. 18 of those starts came in 2013, and Sierra held a 3.92 ERA in 101 innings.

Your 2016 Dodgers, potentially fielding a Yasmani, Yasiel and Yaisel with a Yadier and Yusniel in the minors. I apologize in advance for all future times I mess up one of their names. I guarantee it’s autocorrect’s fault.

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