Dodgers News: Yaisel Sierra Contract Details

The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized their six-year, $30 million contract with Yaisel Sierra on Sunday, and the Cuban right-hander is expected to report to Camelback Ranch in the coming days.

Sierra’s contract surprised some National League officials, who didn’t place the same value on the right-hander due to command issues. From the Dodgers perspective, it’s another noteworthy financial commitment during an international signing period in which they’ve already spent plenty.

Los Angeles quickly exceeded their bonus pool money and are paying a 100 percent tax penalty on dollars spent during the current signing period.

Additionally, the Dodgers will not be able to sign international bonus-pool free agents for more than $300,000 in each next two international signing periods, beginning July 2016.

Sierra defected from Cuba last April and was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball in late December. His contract includes a $6 million signing bonus and escalating annual salaries, per Beth Harris of the Associated Press:

The 24-year-old right-hander will get a $6 million signing bonus in the deal announced Sunday. Half of the bonus is payable 15 days after the contract is approved by Major League Baseball and Sierra obtains all permissions needed to enter and work in the U.S. The other half is payable on Dec. 15. … He will earn $1 million this year, $2.5 million in 2017, $3.5 million in 2018, $4 million in 2019, $5.5 million in 2020 and $7.5 million in 2021.

In four seasons spent pitching in the Cuban League, Sierra was 16-21 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. He spent the bulk of his career working as a relief pitcher, though the Dodgers intend to develop Sierra as a starting pitcher.

Sierra pitched exclusively out of the bullpen during the 2014-15 season. He finished that year with a 6.10 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and averaged eight strikeouts per nine innings. Overall, Sierra started just 25 of 131 games pitched over five seasons.