The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Yadier Alvarez from the restricted list and immediately designated him for assignment on Saturday, or one day after the right-hander was scratched from his 2020 Spring Training debut.
Alvarez was scheduled to enter in the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained after the loss that didn’t manifest because he couldn’t get loose in the bullpen.
Then on Saturday morning, Roberts said Alvarez had been shut down and was due to undergo medical testing to determine the specifics of his apparent injury. The Dodgers announced the roster move roughly two hours later.
L.A. has seven days to trade, release, or outright Alvarez to the Minors. They have now designated four players since the end of the 2019 season.
Casey Sadler was traded to the Chicago Cubs, Kyle Garlick was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, and White was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City and invited back to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee after clearing waivers.
Although Alvarez has an electric arm, his off-the-field history and lack of sustained success on it, suggest he will go unclaimed. The Dodgers inked Alvarez to a $16 million signing bonus on the first day of the 2015-16 international signing period.
Though their total investment in the Cuban native was double that amount because of a tax penalty for exceeding their international signing pool that year.
Alvarez was among the Dodgers prospects named to the 2017 MLB Futures Game, and the highest level he reached with the organization was Double-A Tulsa (2017, 2018, 2019). However, lack of command continued to be a point of weakness for the 23-year-old.
Then last season there were behavioral issues that prompted the Dodgers to place Alvarez on the restricted list and remove him from their 40-man roster. When he arrived in camp at Camelback Ranch, Alvarez acknowledged he acted immature and vowed to be more professional.
But whether that opportunity will come with the Dodgers or another team is now in limbo.
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