Dodgers, Cuban pitcher Yaisel Sierra finalize $30M deal
Feb. 21, 2016
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cuban pitcher Yaisel Sierra have finalized a $30 million, six-year contract.
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.
The team said Sierra is expected to report to the team's spring training camp in Glendale, Arizona, in a few days after his visa issues are resolved. The sides agreed to the deal last month.
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.
Sierra pitched five seasons in Cuba's Serie Nacional with Holguin (2010-14) and Sancti Spiritus (2012), going 16-21 with 25 saves and a 4.23 ERA in 131 games. He pitched for the country's gold medal-winning national team in the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Once Sierra is eligible for salary arbitration, he may void the salaries and file for arbitration.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed right-hander Frankie Montas on the 60-day disabled list. Montas had rib resection surgery last week and is expected to be out two to four months.
Sierra is among a string of Cuban players the Dodgers have signed, starting with Yasiel Puig, who received a $42 million, seven-year deal in 2012. Puig's stellar rookie season led to the team signing Erisbel Arruebarrena for $25 million, Alex Guerrero for $28 million, and Hector Olivera for $62.5 million. The trio of infielders has yet to match Puig's success.
In recent months, the Dodgers have signed three Cuban pitchers: Yadier Alvarez and prospects Yusniel Diaz and Omar Estevez.
NOTES: Japanese newcomer Kenta Maeda tossed his first bullpen session with Yasmani Grandal catching in front of about four dozen onlookers. The right-hander signed an eight-year deal last month after eight pro seasons in his native country. ... Reliever Josh Ravin missed his second consecutive day on Sunday because of flu-like symptoms. ... Reliever Caleb Dirks, a non-roster invitee, will be out a few days with a stiff lower back. ... Pitcher Brooks Brown, claimed off waivers from the Rockies last October, was held out from throwing with right shoulder soreness.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.