Dodgers: Yadier Alvarez Once Again at LA Spring Training
A couple of weeks ago, a video of former Dodgers top pitching prospect Yadier Alvarez surfaced. For most Dodgers fans, it was an interesting update on a once prized prospect and nothing more. That was, until Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reported on Saturday that Alvarez was at Camelback Ranch throwing for the Dodgers.
The Yadier Alvarez story continues. High-bonus right handed was signed out of Cuba in 2015. Highly-ranked as #Dodgers prospect but never developed. DFAed in spring 2020. He’s in camp again this spring. Among those who threw bullpen session today.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 5, 2022
In 2015, the Dodgers signed Alvarez to a $16M deal and had to pay an additional $16M penalty for going over the international signing cap. You read that right. At one time, the Dodgers believed the Cuban’s right arm was worth a $32M investment.
That investment never panned out. Things began to unravel for Alvarez after he was named to the 2017 Minor League All-Star team.
In addition to battling injuries, the pitcher had some off the field challenges as well. One of those incidents including him walking out on the Tulsa Drillers (Double-A) in 2019.
Yadier Álvarez, former top prospect, spoke to reporters. He has had discipline issues during his unproductive four-season tenure with the Dodgers. He said several times the has been “acting like a child” and resolved to act more professionally. A psychologist helped him, he said.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) February 19, 2020
This spring might be Alvarez’s last chance to validate the high hopes the Dodgers had when the club signed him in 2015.
Last September, Alvarez made three appearances for the Arizona Complex League Dodgers according to Baseball Reference. He logged a 7.36 ERA in 3.2 IP.
The Dodgers have a solid history of helping turn pitchers’ careers around. Only different in this instance is that it’s one of their own. It’s a long shot, but there’s still a chance that LA could recover some of the sizable investment they made in Alvarez more than seven years ago.
At this point, the best bet might be for the Cuban flamethrower to get himself right in the minors this year and be a long shot for a reliever role in 2023.
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Dodgers: Former Star Prospect Hoping to Latch On in LA Bullpen
The money the Dodgers paid Alvarez, Arruebarrena, Olivares, Fernandez, and a few other international signings that never were close to major league talents, probably far excedes the money they are fighting over, spread out over all 30 teams, in this collective bargaining fiasco.