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Dodgers Land Another Cuban

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Yaisel Sierra (Photo by Bill MItchell) Yaisel Sierra (Photo by Bill MItchell)[/caption] LOS ANGELES—As a wave of Cuban players have made its way to the United States over the past few years, no team has invested more heavily than the Dodgers. The results, however, have been mixed so far. The Dodgers have signed nine players out of Cuba over the past four years (starting with Yasiel Puig), committing more than $200 million in salaries and bonuses.
So far, only Puig has emerged as a star. Infielders Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena have also played in the majors but Arruebarrena is off the Dodgers’ 40-man roster after disciplinary issues a year ago. Hector Olivera was signed but traded to the Atlanta Braves before reaching the majors. The Dodgers’ latest trip to that part of the talent universe landed them righthander Yaisel Sierra. The Dodgers finalized a six-year, $30 million contract with the 24-year-old pitcher this spring. In parts of five seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacionale, Sierra had a 4.23 ERA. Byrnes said Sierra threw from multiple arm angles and relied on breaking pitches, which the Dodgers believe led to command issues. When throwing in showcases for talent evaluators before signing, Byrnes said Sierra flashed an "explosive” two-seam fastball in the high 90-mph range. The Dodgers plan to give him time to refine his mechanics and hope to develop him as a starting pitcher. "Velocity is nice. That’s obviously a nice attraction,” Dodgers vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes said. "But we saw some secondary pitches we liked, a delivery we liked. We liked his makeup. "Throwing strikes is essential. He just does not look like a guy who’d have problems with it as we’ve watched him the last several months. … But he knows that part of his history maybe is a function of a different style of pitching. We’re going to really, really emphasize throwing strikes.”” L.A. CONFIDENTIAL • Three other Cuban players signed by the Dodgers last year—pitcher Yadier Alvarez, infielder Omar Estevez and outfielder Yusniel Diaz—are expected to be in the United States for the first time this spring. General manager Farhan Zaidi said all three could arrive for minor league camp. • The Dodgers released righthander pitcher Brooks Brown and second baseman Blake Hennessey

Yadier Alvarez Is Ready For His Chance

Alvarez owned up to immature behavior in the past, so he spent the offseason working to improve his discipline as he tries to get back on the Dodgers' radar.

early in spring training.

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