The Dodgers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $62.5 million deal with Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, including a whopping $28 million signing bonus.
The Padres were said to be interested as well as the Giants, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports on Monday, who also reported the Braves made a $40 million offer over four years. But Olivera wanted six years, and has reportedly received it from the Dodgers.
Questions abound for the soon-to-be 30-year-old Olivera, including just what position he will play. The Dodgers saw Olivera play third base in a pair of Dominican showcases, which is where he would seem to fit best, at least in 2015, with Juan Uribe the least durable of the Dodgers' infield starters.
But Olivera can play second base as well, and the Dodgers have free agency pending for Uribe, shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Howie Kendrick at the end of 2015, with Corey Seager at shortstop the only locked-in long-term infield solution.
There is also the matter of Olivera's right elbow, the health of which is in question, so much so that the Dodgers reportedly requested a second MRI. Olivera also missed a season in 2012-2013 in Cuba with a blood clot in his left arm, so there is injury concern.
That concern is apparently addressed in the form of a one-year, $1 million club option for 2021 added should Olivera need Tommy John surgery, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News.
There is also the issue of just when Olivera might be ready, if healthy, to join the Dodgers, since it is so late in spring training and he's likely need at-bats beforehand.
This is the second reported Cuban signing by the Dodgers in two days, along with Monday's reported agreement with 25-year-old pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez to a minor league deal with an $8 million bonus, an interesting exercise in showing the open-market price to add nearly ready pitching depth. Neither deal has yet been confirmed by the Dodgers.
Once the major league deal becomes official, the Dodgers will need to make a corresponding move to add Olivera to the 40-man roster.