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Dodgers reportedly sign Hector Olivera

The deal is said to be worth six years and $62.5 million.

If he can move through the rumors, he can drive off the fumes, 'cause ...
If he can move through the rumors, he can drive off the fumes, 'cause ...
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Sit, please. I'm sorry to call you in such a panic, but ... well, I thought you should know. The Giants didn't sign that expensive Cuban player they were rumored to have interest in. Hector Olivera is a middle infielder with some experience at third, and he's reportedly heading to the Dodgers.

Source: Cuban INF Hector Olivera has agreed to a 6-year, $62.5 million deal with Dodgers. $28MM signing bonus.

So many clams. If he hits like he's supposed to, though, it'll be a bargain for the first couple of years. Reminder that the Dodgers have this money because of a monster TV deal, even though half of the greater Los Angeles area can't watch the Dodgers on TV.

Here's what I wrote about Olivera, back when the Giants were still rumored to be messing with us:

He turns 30 in April, and he missed a year (because of left-bicep thrombosis) and came back to mostly DH last season, showing decreased power. That means scouts and teams were a little skeptical, but that's what the showcases are for. While acknowledging that these stats are inflated because of the level of competition, the combination of patience and contact is instantly appealing.

Along with the Davenport Translations of his Cuban stats:

2003 .276 .315 .382
2004 .266 .285 .369
2005 .267 .327 .342
2006 .303 .337 .403
2007 .313 .387 .450
2008 .306 .369 .472
2009 .279 .350 .433
2010 .297 .341 .431
2011 .292 .375 .489
2013 .261 .324 .389

Olivera can play third, which would affect Juan Uribe, or second, which would affect Howie Kendrick. The former makes a modicum of sense; the latter makes no sense. Their worst-case scenario -- at least as far as roster crunches go -- is that Olivera is a super-sub, like Justin Turner was last year, getting 400 at-bats all over the place. He's right-handed, so not exactly a platoon fit for Uribe or Kendrick, but there will be injuries and slumps and such. If he's good, he'll get at-bats, and then the Dodgers will have an automatic Uribe replacement for next season.

That sure is a lot of money to spend on an unknown player for a team that doesn't have an obvious hole.

Non-sequitur mention of Casey McGehee left awkwardly in the middle of article.

I suppose the important question is this: Did the Dodgers' 25-man roster get better? Yes. Yes, it did. They'll have some things to figure out for the future, and considering Olivera's age and injury concerns, he's not exactly the lock that Jose Abreu was supposed to be, even if he got similar money. But the Dodgers have 25 players today who are better than the 25 players from yesterday, which is notable because the 25 players they had yesterday were really good already.

This is just setting up the inevitable Alfredo Despagine-to-the-Giants news that'll come next year, and it'll make the 2016 title feel even better, but for now, the Dodgers coughed up some rubies and ingots and got better. Again. Get used to it. This probably won't stop for a couple of decades.