The Dodgers have designated right-hander Yadier Alvarez for assignment, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Alvarez was reinstated from the restricted list, but was designated in lieu of occupying a 40-man roster spot. He was expected to pitch yesterday, but was a late scratch from his first spring appearance.
The Dodgers awarded Alvarez with a $16MM bonus when he signed with the organization as an international amateur in July 2015. He quickly made a name for himself as a consensus top-100 prospect, but has failed to live up to that billing with three unproductive seasons plagued by persisting control issues.
Today marks yet another setback for the 23-year-old flamethrower. He was placed on the restricted list in September of 2019, capping off a season in which injuries limited him to just two minor league starts. After showing up to Spring Training unexpected this year, he was expected to get a chance to compete for reps, but was unable to make his first appearance yesterday when he “didn’t feel right,” according to Dave Roberts.
Whether Alvarez’s future is with the Dodgers or another team, he’ll have a long way to go to mitigate concerns about his ability to be a productive Major Leaguer. Given his prospect pedigree and undeniable arm talent, Alvarez may be of interest to several teams who hope to unlock the scintillating potential Alvarez showed as a teenager. Given his profound control issues (career 5.1 BB/9 in the minors), it seems most likely that he winds up in a bullpen role, but he’s still just 23 and there’s no question that his stuff could play in any role.