Hector Olivera has yet to find a major league deal to his liking, however his free agency may come to an end soon. According to Baseball America's Ben Badler, the Dodgers and Padres are among the favorites to sign the Cuban infielder. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman notes he may be signed before the end of the week and is seeking a six-year deal.
Atlanta has reportedly offered Olivera a four-year deal, with the Marlins, Braves, Dodgers, Giants, and Athletics all also interested. When he was declared a free agent, Olivera was hoping to join a club's major league camp. However, spring training is quickly coming to a close, and Olivera may find himself with an organization's Double or Triple-A affiliate before being called up if he is not signed soon.
While, according to Heyman, Olivera has received several short-term offers, he is waiting for a more extensive deal. Olivera has thrived, most notably during "hitting demonstrations," and scouts are becoming increasingly confident he can produce at the major league level.
The Braves' four-year offer is thought to be worth $40 million, which a source told Heyman was "behind the pack." Each of the five year offers are reportedly worth close to $50 million, and although the Dodgers and Padres are thought to be the favorites, the value of their offers is unclear. Despite the fact that Atlanta's proposal may not be in the same range as the others Olivera has received, the opportunity to play for coaches of Cuban decent, which Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and bench coach Carlos Tosca both are, could be attractive to him. Atlanta would also make sense if Olivera prefers to play on the East Coast.
Olivera is a natural third baseman who can also play second base and left and right field. His new agent, Greg Genske, said a deal is "likely" by the end of the week, however nothing has come to fruition yet. The UCL in Olivera's throwing elbow has led some teams to question his health, though some scouts have said he has had a strong arm in workouts. The Dodgers requested a second MRI but never received one. Signing Olivera would make sense for the Dodgers, one of baseball's larger market teams, and the Padres, who have shown they are not afraid to spend big this offseason.