Free agent Cuban infielder Hector Olivera is “likely to have a contract by the end of this week, agent Greg Genske told CBSsports.com.
From Jon Heyman’s piece:
There has been some concern about a situation with the UCL in his throwing elbow, but scouts say he shows a strong arm in workouts. The Dodgers, who looked at one MRI of the elbow in question, but were declined a second MRI, are still in the bidding despite some seeming concern about the alleged issue.
The presence of the Dodgers, one of baseball’s two richest franchises, worries some of the other interested parties. “Look, if the Dodgers want him, they can get him,” one interested party pointed out.
I’ve heard essentially the same thing from an interested party.
Yoan Moncada agreed to terms with the Boston Red Sox on Monday, ending months of speculation surrounding the prized Cuban infielder. He’ll get $31.5 million according to multiple reports, while the Red Sox will pay the same amount in taxes to Major League Baseball because Moncada is 19 years old and has less than five years’ professional experience playing overseas.
The Yankees and Dodgers were the teams most frequently linked to Moncada the past few weeks. According to FoxSports.com:
The Dodgers passed on Moncada as well, unwilling to give up the chance to sign younger international prospects for $300,000 or more the next two years. The Yankees and Red Sox already had forfeited that chance due to previous signings, and now the Dodgers can exploit a market that will not include the two AL East behemoths as competition.
Andrew Friedman gave a tepid response Thursday to a question about whether the Dodgers’ farm system is strong enough for him to be comfortable not signing any big-name Cubans the next two years. General manager Farhan Zaidi said Saturday that “it’s sort of a more tangible opportunity cost to sign (Moncada) and presumably be shut out in the subsequent signing period.”
Hector Olivera, 29, played second base for Team Cuba at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and 2008 Olympics. (Getty Images)
The Dodgers have been linked to four Cuban free agents this week, and if that’s not enough … no, that’s enough.
Here’s what you need to know about the quartet.