Cleared by Major League Baseball as a free agent one week ago, Hector Olivera’s name has emerged as the hottest among the group of international free agents.
While there’s been plenty of buzz surrounding Olivera, it was recently rumored he may require Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. As such, the Dodgers reportedly asked for a second MRI on Olivera’s elbow and were denied, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
According to sources, the Dodgers have recently requested a second MRI on the elbow of the hard-hitting Olivera – the next great international player ready to sign with the big leagues – and it is believed Olivera declined to provide that.
During their reported courtship of Yoan Moncada, the Dodgers were also busy scouting Olivera, who impressed on multiple occasions in front of the club’s top executives. The Dodgers reportedly offered the infielder a $77 million contract — vastly outbidding other teams — though that’s difficult to fathom as Olivera presumably would have jumped at the opportunity to sign.
Olivera is an infielder who is expected to be Major League-ready once he signs, assuming reports of the UCL tear are unfounded. While the Dodgers don’t appear to have any room for him at the moment, three of their four infielders are in the final year of their contracts.
At 29 years old and having more than five years of experience in a Cuban professional league, Olivera is not tied to the same signing penalties Moncada was if a team went over their allotted signing bonus money — 100 percent penalty tax and limited spending power over the next two signing periods.
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