Since he became a free agent, several teams have been linked to Cuban prospect Hector Olivera. While some teams have been hesitant to make a lengthy offer because of elbow injuries, the Dodgers have been interested and according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, have recently requested a second MRI of his left elbow. D.J. Short of NBC Sports notes it is believed that "the request was initially declined."
The Dodgers are willing to invest significantly in Olivera, and as a result, are hoping their team doctor could be present during the next MRI. The original MRI was taken in the Dominican Republic.
Los Angeles made a $77 million offer according to The Miami Herald's Clark Spencer, with the Braves offering $44 million, and the Padres and Marlins offering $52 milllion and $54 million respectively. Heyman was also told a deal worth more than $70 million could be realistic if Olivera proves to be healthy. The differences may not be as large as they appear, with the figures likely only being released because of Olivera's decision to switch agents earlier this week.
As Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan noted last week, the ulnar collateral ligament damage in Olivera's elbow may require Tommy John surgery. Olivera's representatives denied the report, and Greg Genske of Legacy Agency has since been hired to field questions with regard to Olivera's health.
Any deal Olivera receives will likely include at least six years of team control unless Olivera's agent and a major league club agree on a deal that would include more or less future control. Los Angeles, which is among the larger market teams interested in Olivera, likely has the financial flexibility necessary to pay him over six seasons. San Diego, Miami, and Atlanta would have four years of a deal mapped out, with the subsequent two involving arbitration. Arbitration may provide Olivera with more than the $77 million the Dodgers initially offered.
Olivera wants a spot on a major league roster, and because of his versatility, that should prove to be a realistic goal. Since he has been plagued by health issues throughout his career, Olivera and his agent may look to win a deal by ensuring a large portion of a desired contract is guaranteed.