Dodgers: Yadier Alvarez has to be out of chances with LA
A big-time arm from Cuba, Yadier Alvarez’s potential was never the issue. But with his recent placement on the restricted list, his time with the Dodgers could be nearing its end.
It’s time for the Dodgers to let him go.
He’s currently on the restricted list for “disciplinary reasons” according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick.
His potential has become a drain on the Dodgers’ image, time and resources. As recently as last offseason, it seemed reasonable to leave him off the 40-man roster to keep him available in the Rule 5 Draft, but now that step seems obvious.
I think it’s time to cut him completely. If he is the behavioral problem he seems to be dealing with, it would not be worth it to insert him into the clubhouse in the future. Clubhouse drama is something this front office, as demonstrated in the Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp trades from years past, really strives to avoid at all costs.
On top of his team chemistry cost, Alvarez just simply is not the top prospect he once was on the field. He last pitched back in April, only throwing 3.2 innings before hitting the IL. In those two outings, he allowed six earned runs and walked four with the Tulsa Drillers.
The 23-year old Cuban just is not worth the cost anymore.
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Even last season, his stock dropped from being the eighth-best Dodgers prospect to the 11th best over the course of a season. Here’s what MLB.com said about him then:
"A Cuban defector who cost Los Angeles a $16 million bonus and a matching amount in tax, he had a reputation for wildness but showed a surprising amount of polish in his 2016 pro debut. Control woes reappeared last season when the Dodgers promoted him aggressively, yet he was overpowering when he found the strike zone.Few pitchers can match Alvarez’s combination of athleticism and arm speed, which allows him to sit at 94-97 mph into the late innings and reach 101 mph […] However, his heater can get hit hard when he can’t locate it down in the strike zone. Similarly, his upper-80s slider can be a wipeout pitch but also can be ineffective when he can’t get it over the plate.Alvarez’s struggled even more in 2017 with his changeup, which was too firm to throw hitters off balance […] If he can’t deliver more strikes after his walk rate jumped from 3.2 per nine innings in 2016 to 4.9 last year, his projection will change from frontline starter to high-leverage reliever."
Ultimately, the Dodgers should dip their toes in the trade market this offseason to see if any rebuilding team wants to take a chance on him, and if not, set him free in the Rule 5 Draft.