Dodgers Reportedly Throw Money Around, Sign Hector Olivera

Last week, I suggested that the Dodgers don’t really need Hector Olivera because they already have something pretty similar in Justin Turner. Obviously, Andrew Friedman and his crew do not agree.

Kiley McDaniel did a nice job breaking down Olivera a few weeks ago, and in that piece, he wrote this: “The Dodgers are the only team that’s in on Olivera that can afford to pay whatever they want.” And this signing is a reminder that they really can do just that; a team with the largest payroll in baseball and no obvious spot for Olivera this season just ponied up a $28 million signing bonus and $34 million in future salary commitments for a guy who probably doesn’t make a significant impact for them until 2016, when he’ll be 31 years of age.

Of course, it’s quite possible that my Justin Turner comparison was quite light, and perhaps Olivera is even better than Juan Uribe by the second half of this season, giving the team a bit of an upgrade at third base for the stretch run. It’s not impossible that Olivera will contribute this year, though he’d have to be pretty great to represent a substantial upgrade over Uribe, Turner, and whatever Alex Guerrero could potentially give them at third base.

Right now, we have the Dodgers third base contingent combining for about +3 WAR this season; Olivera might push that to +4 if he comes up quickly and is awesome, but this is unlikely to move the needle for LA that much this year. This is basically the Dodgers spending $63 million to solve a 2016 problem — when Uribe and Howie Kendrick are both set to hit free agency — a few months in advance. And they’re basically the only team in baseball that can still afford to do stuff like that.

It’s great to be smart and find all kinds of hidden bargains, constructing a good team out of undervalued pieces. It’s also great to just be able to outbid everyone for anyone you want. The Dodgers apparently are going to do both.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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CC AFCmember
9 years ago

Dang. Dodgers are like Real Madrid over here.

Spa City
9 years ago
Reply to  CC AFC

Is that a Mexican League baseball team?

9 years ago
Reply to  Spa City

Madrid is in spain. It’s a Spanish Baseball team.