Months after reports surfaced that the deal was close, Cuban infielder Hector Olivera is traveling to Los Angeles to sign his contract with the , according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Hector Olivera is expected to arrive in L.A. tonite. once there he'll take physical, then finalize deal. #dodgers— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 14, 2015
It was during spring training that Olivera began receiving a ton of attention. The Dodgers had to outbid a number of teams with interest, especially their division rival and new spending foe, the San Diego Padres.
The six-year deal for Olivera is for $62.5 million, which includes a $28 million signing bonus. The deal was contingent on Olivera passing a physical, which he was unable to do until he could acquire a visa. He received clearance for his visa earlier this week.
The 30-year-old has dealt with a number of injuries, from a slight UCL tear to a blood clot in his arm, which caused to miss the entire 2012-2013 season. Upon his return, Olivera hit .316 with seven home runs in 273 plate appearances. He profiles as a second or third baseman for the Dodgers, who have quite the log jam in the infield.
Does Olivera dislodge a movable Dodgers infielder?
Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero are all infielders currently with the big league club that play either second, third or shortstop. That list doesn't include their top hitting prospect Corey Seager, who profiles to play one of those three positions.
Olivera has been working out at the Dodgers facilities in the Dominican Republic, but the plan is for him to see some minor league games before playing for the big league club.
Scouts believed his size, athleticism and hitting approach allow him to make an immediate impact with this Dodgers club. Where he fits in is still a mystery, but one that will need to be figured out soon.