Yadier Alvarez Is Ready For His Chance
When the Dodgers signed Yadier Alvarez in July 2015, the Cuban righthander was considered one of the top prizes on the international market.
The Dodgers awarded Alvarez a $16 million bonus and paid even more because the contract took them over their international bonus pool.
Nearly five years later, the 23-year-old's name has disappeared from the prospect rankings and his career has all but fizzled out.
"I let things slip away," Alvarez said through a translator in the Dodgers' spring clubhouse. "I've been a lot more focused this year than in previous years. I'm very much aware that this could be my last opportunity."
Alvarez opened last season on the injured list at Double-A Tulsa and finished it on the restricted list. In between, the 6-foot-3, 175-pound righthander pitched in just two games.
In four pro seasons, Alvarez has gone 9-13, 4.02 with 246 strikeouts in 210.2 innings.
"It was a maturity thing. I was acting like a child and I wasn't listening to anyone," Alvarez said. "I was acting like a child. Back then I just wanted to play ball. I didn't care where it was."
Alvarez acknowledges that has been an ongoing theme in his career, one he said he took steps to address, including talking to a psychologist who "helped a lot."
He will have to convince the Dodgers of that this spring. Alvarez reported to big league camp and was reinstated from the restricted list on Feb. 28.
A day later, the Dodgers designated Alvarez for assignment and outrighted him off the 40-man roster after he cleared waivers. He had been scratched from his spring debut after he couldn't get loose in the bullpen with a shoulder injury.
"I worked really hard in the offseason, prepared really hard in the offseason," Alvarez said. "One of the things I have to work on is my direction—getting here on time, my focus, try to work on discipline.
"I just have to stay focused and keep working and things will work out."
—The Dodgers signed former Royals outfielder Terrance Gore to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp. The 28-year-old has an outside chance of making the roster now that it has been expanded to 26 players. The Dodgers will consider a specialist like the speedster Gore for that extra spot.
— The Dodgers designated Kyle Garlick and Tyler White for assignment after trades with the Red Sox and Twins brought in Mookie Betts, David Price and Brusdar Graterol. White cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster. He returned to big league camp as a non-roster player. Garlick was traded to the Phillies for lefthander Tyler Gilbert.