The Los Angeles Dodgers have a long history of successful international signings and developing pitchers, but Yadier Alvarez has yet to represent either of those.
The Dodgers landed Alvarez with a $16 million signing bonus on the first day of the 2015-16 international signing period. Though, their total investment in the Cuban native was double that amount because of a tax penalty for exceeding their international signing pool that year.
Alvarez was among the Dodgers prospects named to the 2017 MLB Futures Game, but the highest level he has reached with the organization thus far is Double-A Tulsa (2017, 2018, 2019). Lack of command continue to be a point of weakness for the hard-throwing righty.
Alvarez was designated for assignment during 2020 Spring Training and sent outright to the Minors after clearing waivers. He’s now among the Dodgers in Minor League camp, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
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
The MLB lockout prevents players on the 40-man roster being part of Minor League Spring Training, though the Dodgers certainly still have a wealth of talent on hand at Camelback Ranch.
Along with Alvarez, their pool of pitchers includes top prospects Landon Knack, Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot; and 2021 first-round draft pick Maddux Bruns.
Can Alvarez get back on track?
Aside from battling a shoulder injury during Spring Training two years ago, Alvarez’s career with the Dodgers has included behavioral issues as well.
In September 2019, the team placed Alvarez on the restricted list, which removed him from the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.
If Alvarez has matured from past struggles and improves on command, he possesses an electric fastball that could make him a useful relief pitcher at the Major League level.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!