Released by the Dodgers last month after biting Triple-A teammate Alex Guerrero’s ear off, veteran catcher Miguel Olivo has found a new team. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 35-year-old journeyman/maniac has signed with the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League.
Olivo was hitting .368 with a 1.013 OPS at Triple-A for the Dodgers when they released him and, if not for BITING A TEAMMATE’S EAR OFF, he probably would have been called up to the majors at some point already.
Now it’s pretty safe to assume that Olivo’s big-league career is over, because in addition to using his teeth to tear parts of people’s body off he hasn’t cracked a .225 batting average or .700 OPS since 2010.
Meanwhile, five weeks after having part of his ear bitten off Guerrero is finally ready to resume baseball activities and begin his comeback. So, to recap: Olivo will be playing baseball professionally again before Guerrero, which doesn’t seem quite right.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.