LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have signed Dominican right-handed pitcher Alexis Candelario to a minor league deal, one of a few recent minor league deals of note.
Candelario turns 35 in May but has surprisingly little professional pitching experience. His 2016 season was split between the independent Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League and Veracruz in the Mexican Summer League.
He had a 2.62 ERA in seven starts with Veracruz, with 35 strikeouts and 17 walks in 44⅔ innings. With Somerset, Candelario had a 5.02 ERA in eight games, including seven starts, with 47 strikeouts and 14 walks in 37⅔ innings.
Candelario was really highly regarded by those who'd played with/against him when he came to Somerset. Was very inconsistent here, though.— Mike Ashmore (@mashmore98) November 28, 2016
He's 34, which doesn't help him, but he's also pitched very well in winter ball. Given age, Dodgers would almost have to start him AAA.— Mike Ashmore (@mashmore98) November 28, 2016
The signing was first reported on Sunday by Paola Rios of TVMAS Veracruz in Mexico, though Candelario does not have an invitation to big league camp in spring training.
Candelario is currently pitching for Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League, with a 1.44 ERA in six starts, 24 strikeouts and 10 walks in 31⅓ innings. This is his first winter league in his home country, after previous stints in Mexico (2011-2012) and Venezuela (2015).
"Everything I've achieved lately I owe it to Venezuela,” Candelario told Alfredo Villasmil Franceschi of Prensa LVBP. “That's where I got to know and that's why I'm here now."
Other minors deals
A few other former Red Sox draftees have been reportedly signed by the Dodgers to minor league deals.
Madison Younginer, drafted by the Red Sox in the seventh round in 2009, pitched in Triple-A for the Braves in 2016. The right-hander had a 4.02 ERA in 46 games between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, with 60 strikeouts and 23 walks in 56 innings.
Younginer, now 26, struggled as he advanced, posting a 7.24 ERA in his 11 games in Triple-A, with nearly as many walks (11) as strikeouts (13). He saw his first major league action in August with Atlanta, posting a 6.43 ERA in eight relief appearances, with four strikeouts and four walks in seven innings.
During his time in the majors, Younginger threw his four-seam fastball 65% of the time, per Brooks Baseball, and averaged 95.13 mph.
Matt Eddy of Baseball America reported the signing of Younginer, who inked a deal with the Dodgers on Nov. 17.
Outfielder Henry Ramos also has reached a minor league deal with LA, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. Ramos was drafted by the Red Sox in the fifth round in 2010 our of Puerto Rico. Like Younginer, Ramos was drafted by Boston when current Dodgers vice president of international and amateur scouting David Finley was in the scouting and player personnel departments with the Red Sox.
Ramos, who turns 25 in April, hit .263/.306/.402 between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2016 with 14 doubles, six triples and eight home runs in 102 games. He struggled in his first stint in Triple-A, hitting .247/.285/.400 in 57 games.
Two years ago, Baseball America tabbed Ramos as the 29th-best prospect in the Red Sox system, noting, “His plus range, plus arm and average speed in right field suggest a player who could fill an extra outfielder role in the big leagues.”