Hector Olivera is the Cuban du Jour for Dodgers

The Dodgers signed a second Cuban in two days after Pablo Millan Fernandez agreed to an $8 million bonus yesterday. Hector Olivera was the Cuban du jour today, the Dodgers agreeing to pay him a six year $62.5 million contract, including a $28 million bonus. Hector has earned his money after being a star in the Cuban league for a number of years. This may be bad news for Alex Guererro, a younger and less polished version of Hector, who has a provision in his contract that he can not be sent down to the minor leagues without becoming a free agent. The two players play the same position.

Olivera played for Santiago de Cuba for a number of years but missed the 2011/2012 season and was used primarily as a DH for the 2012/2013 season. He had a career .323 average in a league that could be equivalent to AAA, hitting in the double digit teens with the homeruns. At 29 years of age he will be 35 when the contract is ready to expire.

The Dodgers recently traded for Howie Kendrick to play second base for them this year. Hector Olivera will only need a half a season to get ready for the 2015 season. With Juan Uribe a free agent after this season perhaps the Dodgers will groom Olivera for third base. Howie can also become a free agent after the 2015 season. Alex Guerrero could take over at second base in 2016 after being groomed as a utility player to keep him on the roster.

The Dodgers are getting to the point where their AAA team could be good enough to beat some major league teams if they keep stashing high salaried players in the minor leagues as depth because they have no room on their major league roster. A number of teams were in the running for Olivera, but only the Dodgers with their vast resources were willing to offer Olivera a six year contract. They will be the team agents will use to inflate free agent prices for premium players like the Yankees were once used in days gone by.

The appetite the Dodgers have for premium players has not been satiated with the signing of Olivera. They continue to look over the menu because there are plenty of Cubans on the entrée list and the Dodgers have unlimited resources to sign them.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.