Please allow me to switch from one depressing Atlanta pro sports story (Hawks) to another — although the subject matter of this story is so pathetic, it’s actually kind of funny.
The Braves reportedly are shopping Hector Olivera. Well, of course they are. Because what team wouldn’t want to take a chance on an overpaid, unproven, 31-year-old player from Cuba who also has assault and battery charges hanging over his head? And did I mention he was hitting .211?
Jeff Passan of Yahoo reported Monday that the Braves have been trying to trade Olivera since his arrest for allegedly assaulting a woman in a Washington D.C.-area hotel during a road trip two weeks ago. Olivera is currently on a mandatory paid leave of absence, per MLB policy. It’s not known when he’ll play again.
Passan quoted two unnamed sources on the Olivera issue in his “10 degrees” notes column. The item included this excerpt: “One executive whom the Braves queried about any interest in Olivera (said): ‘I can’t believe they even asked.”
No kidding. To suggest Olivera’s market value is down would be an understatement. He has had only 98 major league at-bats and is hitting .245, including .211 this season (4-for-21). The Los Angeles Dodgers paid his $28 million signing bonus but the Braves are responsible for approximately $32 million in salary for five seasons (through 2020). So any team acquiring Olivera would be risking paying a lot of money for a player who probably won’t produce quickly (if ever), given his legal entanglements and a lack of major league experience.
The Dodgers made the strange decision to deal Olivera only two months after outbidding other clubs for him and were willing to pay the bonus. That should have set off warning bells. But the Braves, in need of improving their lineup, traded starting pitcher Alex Wood and prospect Jose Peraza to L.A. as part of a three-team trade with Miami.
Even with Wood currently struggling with the Dodgers and Peraza since traded, this deal has the potential to be a disaster for the Braves, given the financial commitment to Olivera, and that Wood and Peraza were young and modestly paid and had upsides.
Then again, when a team is 4-14, it’s not like there’s a lot of good news.
Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox
- One-man basketball won’t get job done for Hawks
- As Hawks look to rebound, some thoughts on Game 4 vs. Celtics
- Hawks would be wise to stay cool after Thomas’ slap
- Hawks’ Schroder: ‘I’m not going to let nobody slap me in my face’
- Hawks not making it easy on themselves
- Hawks will try to buck history in Game 3 against Boston
- Bigger surprise than Braves’ record: Freeman hitting .163
- Liberty CEO’s comments reaffirm: Braves need new ownership
- Matt Ryan says he’s confident in Kyle Shanahan, Falcons’ offense
- Only one side of Olivera-Wood trade is around for Braves-Dodgers series
- Jacob Eason good but 93,000 is real highlight of Georgia’s spring
- Hawks go into playoffs knowing changes to core may be ahead
- Braves (0-8) vs. Twins (0-8): Your 2017 World Series may be on deck
- Braves’ 0-7 season takes an even uglier turn with Olivera arrest
- Manziel, Gordon should be viewed as sad stories, not punchlines
- Criticism of Georgia Tech’s Pastner seems over the top
- Braves (0-5) are a minor league product in a major league season
- ‘Religious liberty’ bill turned into an Alabama-Vanderbilt game
- Tim Hardaway, Jr. impressing critics, Hawks and his father
- OK, Mike Bobinski, let’s see what you’ve got
- (Early) Nothing Gregory did this season was going to save his job
- Kirby Smart is wrong … but then so is everybody else on transfers