Interesting update this evening from CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, who hears that the Dodgers recently requested a second MRI on the elbow of free agent Cuban infielder Hector Olivera. It’s believed that the request was initially declined.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported a week ago that Olivera could have ulnar collateral ligament damage in his elbow and might require Tommy John surgery. That report was denied by Olivera’s camp, but the 29-year-old has since hired Greg Genske of Legacy Agency to represent him and questions obviously remain about his health.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported earlier today that the Marlins backed off a seven-year, $53 million offer for Olivera after hearing that the Dodgers offered $77 million, but he also noted that those offers were made to his old agent. One would think that he would already be with the Dodgers if that lucrative offer was legitimate, so it’s hard to know what to believe here. Still, Heyman was told by one GM that $70-plus million for Olivera wouldn’t be crazy “if he’s healthy.”
The two sides reached an agreement late last month, but the Red Sox just officially announced that they have signed Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada to a minor league contract. The team will hold an introductory press conference tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET, per FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.
The Red Sox will reportedly give Moncada a bonus of $31.5 million, which smashes the previous record for an international amateur under the current system. The Diamondbacks briefly held that distinction when they gave $8.27 million to right-hander Yoan Lopez in January. The Red Sox will also have to pay a 100-percent tax for exceeding their international bonus pool, so the total outlay for signing him will be $63 million. They have until July 15 to pay the tax and up to three years to pay the bonus.
It’s a big price to pay for a 19-year-old, but Moncada drew raves from scouts and Ben Badler of Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 10 prospect in the game. He’s expected to find a home at second base, third base, or the outfield in pro ball and some believe he could make his way to the majors as soon as next season.
The latest from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com …
Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera is considering several offers in the four- to six-year range, and the infielder could come to terms with a team this week, according to industry sources.
The Dodgers, Braves, Marlins, Padres, A’s and Giants have all shown a strong interest in signing the 29-year-old, sources said.
The expectation is Olivera will get around $50 million. Initial reports had him seeking more than $70 million, but we didn’t hear much of that after he switched agents last week, from Rudy Santin and Manny Paula to Greg Genske of the Legacy Sports Agency.
Olivera was a .323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports heard a week ago that there was serious concern from some teams about the structure of Olivera’s throwing-arm elbow, but multiple sources have since refuted that report.