There’s one game left on the Cactus League schedule before the trip to Australia and the Los Angeles Dodgers are beginning to make their final roster decisions for the 30-man travel roster.
Many expected the team to take three catchers on the trip because of the scarcity of the position and in case of injury. In the spring, the Dodgers had four potential catchers vying for those three spots.
According to Tyler Emerick of MLB.com, it appears that manager Don Mattingly has made his decision and has upset the odd man out:
Non-roster catcher Miguel Olivo has asked the Dodgers for his release after being told he will not make Sunday night’s flight to Australia for the season-opening series.
Olivo was offered a minor league assignment, but has said that he won’t report to minor league camp. He signed a minor league deal in the off-season. The 35-year-old felt he played well enough in the spring to warrant a major league spot on the roster. Olivo was seemingly brought in to compete for the backup spot behind starter A.J. Ellis, but now it appears as if he was brought in more for depth than an actual chance. In nine games, Olivo hit .263 with three RBI. He led the group of four catchers in batting average and RBI, giving him a legitimate reason to believe he earned a major league spot.
The Dodgers will take Ellis, backup Tim Federowicz and Drew Butera to Australia. Butera was acquired last season and was promoted to the big leagues when rosters expand in September. Unlike Olivo, Butera is out of options and if he didn’t make the roster, he would be passed through waivers.
Olivo will seek a big league deal and could find himself with another team following his release. He’s a 12-year veteran with 145 career home runs that could give a team a catcher with some power and strong defense. With the catchers being assigned, the Dodgers could be finalizing their final moves and figure to announce them after today’s game.