Cuban infielder Hector Olivera has agreed to a six-year, $62.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The deal includes a $28 million signing bonus. The Athletics were reportedly still interested in signing the infielder to play second base but were quiet in the final week, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Olivera, turning 30 in April, would likely have played second base and moved Ben Zobrist into the outfield.
With Howie Kendrick already at second base for the Dodgers, Olivera is more likely to supplant the 35-year-old Juan Uribe at third base or learn one of the corner outfield spots. L.A. has some time to figure out what they will do exactly, as the timing of Olivera's signing so late in spring training probably means he will need additional time to prepare for the season prior to his call-up. The Dodgers also already have someone in place in case reports regarding Olivera needing Tommy John surgery bear fruit:
scouts say olivera is throwing well. but on off chance he needs tommy john surgery, position players can return in 8 months— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 24, 2015
The road ahead for the Oakland A's
Not signing Olivera avoids a number of questions that would otherwise have arisen. Joey Wendle, acquired in the Brandon Moss trade from the Cleveland Indians, retains his clear path to second base whether it be this season or the next. Brett Lawrie remains Oakland's primary third baseman for the foreseeable future. Eric Sogard's place on the roster as utility infielder is saved today thanks to the largess of Messrs. Friedman and Zaidi.