JUNE 16: Baseball America’s Ben Badler has a free scouting report on Alvarez posted, though he notes that because of the 18-year-old’s lack of experience in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, his looks at Alvarez have been somewhat limited. Alvarez once had a lean build but has now filled out his 6’5″ frame and weighs in around 220 pounds. Badler notes that scouts who have seen him more praise his bat control and give him average to above-average power grades, but he’s a bit stiff and has limited flexibility at first base. The whole report is well worth a look and contains some video of Alvarez at the plate as well.
JUNE 15: The Dodgers have agreed to a $2MM bonus with Cuban outfielder/first baseman Yordan Alvarez, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports on Twitter. Because the Dodgers have already gone over well over their allotted spending pool, they’ll face a 100 percent tax on the 18-year-old Alvarez, meaning the signing will cost them $4MM in total.
Not much information is available publicly on the latest Los Angeles target on the international market. He appeared in Cuba’s Serie Nacional in 2013-14, beginning at just 16 years of age, and compiled a .279/.342/.327 batting line over 239 plate appearances.
Given his age, Alvarez is subject to international signing restrictions. That explains the timing of the move, as today marks the end of the 2015-16 international signing period, and the Dodgers are set to serve a two-year ban on $300K+ bonuses of such players in the 2016-17 class (which begins on July 2 following a two-week quiet period). The organization continues to plunk down big money on prospects out of Latin America and elsewhere, though their ability to do so for the next two years will now be significantly limited due to this past international signing period. They’ll still be able to bid on players that are exempt from bonus pools, of course, including players like Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gurriel, Cuban second baseman Jose Miguel Fernandez and others that are made available via the posting systems from Korea and Japan.